“…not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us“
not because we do not have authority,
The gospel team had the right to receive financial support from the new church at Thessalonica (1 Corinthians 9:4-6, 14; Galatians 6:6).
but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us
Paul worked as a tentmaker and exemplified a positive work ethic for the Thessalonians.
The gospel team was an example of sacrificial giving. The word “example” means type. They had the right to receive financial support from the Thessalonian church (1 Corinthians 9:3-14; 1 Timothy 5:18), but they chose to give up that right for the sake of a new church. The team did this to set an example about work.
Christians are to be individual examples of Christianity.
God expects Christians to view themselves as examples or types of the Christian life. We are to set the pace for others. We are to walk the talk. A reliable walk is of more worth than a barrel of words.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).