“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you…“
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us,
The gospel team set an example. They practiced what they preached. They were the models for Christianity.
Paul expected others to follow him. We get our word “mimic” from the Greek word for “follow.” The idea is that of a model. Paul says, “Use me as your model of conduct.”
The word “ought” is an imperative. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to follow his example since the gospel team was in their obedient attitude and actions towards the Word.
for we were not disorderly among you
“Disorderly” suggests being out of rank, out of one’s place, undisciplined, behaving disorderly. In the military sense, it means to break rank. Paul’s team did not live off or mooch off the new Christians at Thessalonica (v.8). The team worked for their meals and keep.
It is not enough simply to believe something; we should strive to exemplify those beliefs.
As Christians, we should be concerned about our testimony (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6; 2:1f; 2:10). This is an imperative of the Christian life.
Small children mimic their parents. Older children mimic athletes. Children mimic both bad and good examples. When they get older, they watch people cheat on their taxes.
As Christians, we follow those whose lives are in accord with the Bible. It is not enough to simply believe something; we must behave something. Likewise, we must be an example to others. The things we do and say will come back to haunt or bless us. When our lives are in agreement with the Word, others can follow us.