“…nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you…“
nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge,
The gospel team did not live off the new Christians at Thessalonica when they came to establish the church there. The Thessalonians were brand new Christians saved out of paganism with little understanding of Christian values so the gospel team waved their rights of financial support from the church there.
but worked with labor and toil night and day,
The team maintained themselves by hard manual labor night and day. They worked hard to bring the gospel to the Thessalonians.
that we might not be a burden to any of you
Paul did not want to be a heavy burden (Greek) to the Thessalonians. He did not want to load them down with an unnecessary financial burden (2 Corinthians 11:9). He was not a parasite on the Thessalonian church although he had the right to receive support from them. Paul waved that right in the light of the situation at that church. Even as Paul wrote this epistle, he worked at tent-making in Corinth (Acts 18:3).
The Philippian church sent money to Paul while he was in Thessalonica (Acts 16:15,34,40). Paul did receive financial help from others but not from the Thessalonians themselves.
Christians should wave their rights for the sake of others.
Are you willing to wave your rights for others? Is the spiritual life of someone else more important to you than your spiritual rights? Mature Christians wave their rights for others. They set the pace for others.