In this passage, Paul insists that the example of the apostles was just as, or maybe even more so, effective in sharing the gospel message as their teaching. Not only did they hear how to live according to the way of Jesus, but they were shown. Because of this example, the believers at Thessalonica can incorporate what they have seen, turning from idols, and living lives that are “pure, upright, and blameless” in their conduct towards each other, even in the face of persecution. Because the apostles’ words and actions were in line with each other, the message was received whole-heartedly.
This calls us to consider whether what we say and what we do are in alignment. When have you found that your example and your words aren’t necessarily in synch? What steps might the Spirit be calling you to take to remedy this disconnect?
In prayer, ask God for the humility to recognize any hypocrisy in your life.