1. As Paul defends himself against accusations by his enemies, he begins by refuting three specific allegations, listed in v. 5 . . . flattering speech, greed and seeking glory. What do these terms mean?
a pretext for greed--
2. How are these three self-serving motives employed by the world and false shepherds? In other words, what should you be on the lookout for and how do you detect such people?
3. At the end of v. 6 Paul adds the statement, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.
a. What does Paul mean by this?
b. Why does Paul make this statement?
4. Following his defense against negative accusations, Paul then begins to list the various positive attributes he and his companions exhibited. He begins in v. 7 by stating, but we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.
a. Compared to his previous statement in v. 6 about not asserting their authority, what does his statement in v. 7 reveal about Paul’s motive and manner of behavior?
b. What is the significance of describing their behavior as being like a nursing mother who tenderly cares for her own children? What image is being portrayed here?
c. What other images are used in Scripture to portray such a compassion and love of the brethren?
5. In v. 8 Paul continues to express his personal affection for the Thessalonians by describing his behavior among them as having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. Considering all that Paul had endured during his missionary journeys, what does this teach about Paul?
6. Interestingly, as Paul will go on to further describe the role and attributes of spiritual leaders, he first begins by describing his personal love and affection for the Thessalonians. What does this teach us about how pastor/shepherds should be motivated and behave toward their flock?
7. In John 10:12-13 the Lord describes false shepherds as hirelings. What are the attitudes and actions of hirelings, compared to truly called shepherds?