“For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness“
For neither at any time did we use flattering words,
The word flattering means fawning. Flattery praises as a means of gratifying someone’s vanity. Under no occasion or point in time did the gospel team use manipulation to reach their ends.
“For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:18 ).
”For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17).
as you know,
The Thessalonians were eyewitnesses to the gospel team’s ministry. They set forth the gospel without charade. They were not there to win a popularity contest. The church at Thessalonica could verify this.
Flattery is the sin of smooth words.
Flattery operates under ulterior motives. Flattery misleads people by making them think you believe in them more than you do. This is the sin of smooth words. Putting people off-guard by smooth words is lying.
To assume a false face to take advantage of other people is an offense against God. This base egoism seeks to turn everything to one’s own advantage. This is a base ulterior motive. Feathering one’s nest at the expense of others is covetousness.
Christian leaders must refuse to prostitute their gifts to achieve selfish ends. The insatiable desire to have more is no excuse for using people.