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When France put up the Eiffel Tower in 1889, critics thought it was the ugliest monstrosity they had ever seen. They tried to get officials to tear it down. But today, it is one of the architectural wonders of the world. The critics were wrong. When Paul took the Gospel to Thessalonica, his critics tried to discredit him and his message. He wrote 1 Thessalonians to answer his critics and to encourage the believers. He stressed that while he was there, he never lost sight of his purpose –which was to share the Good News of the Gospel and help people grow in all areas of life. He said his message encouraged people to live moral lives. He insisted that his motive was not self-seeking — not seeking praise for himself or padding his pocket by taking advantage of people — not seeking converts by using trickery or flattery, or making exaggerated claims. Rather, he said he lived as a servant among them. Even though apostles were entitled to financial support, he chose to work and take care of himself. That way, people would know he was not preaching for money. His declared aim was to be honest, devout, and blameless. Those values are hard to criticize. We today can learn a lot from Paul on how to serve the Lord with integrity.

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