“Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ”
when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ
The gospel team could have pulled rank and used their authority as apostles. They never abused their official status. They knew that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-6). Paul could have been pontifical, pompous. He could have thrown his weight around, but he didn’t.
The “demands” that they could have made were 1) to claim financial maintenance while they were in Thessalonica (1 Th 2:9; 2 Corinthians 11:9; 12:16; 2 Thessalonians 3:8), and 2) to receive the honor for the work they did there.
It is the better part of wisdom not to use our authority at times.
There are two aspects of leadership authority in a congregation. Leaders have the onus not to operate in power-lust or seek approbation. The congregation must recognize the need for authority for the sake of the office.
“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-14).
Wise leaders use the authority of leadership carefully. The wise response to leadership honors the office.