17But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20For you are our glory and joy.Once again, Paul shows his heart for the Thessalonican people.
He had to leave then, in fact was torn away from them, and he wants to be back with them but is being hindered.
That section "torn away from you" I learned from Adam Clarke the following: Paul feels toward these people as if they were his very own children. He takes such joy and pride in them. He can boast about them to God himself. :)
He reminds them that they are his glory and joy.
So what do I learn from this? have to say, I'm really not to sure. Part of me thinks of jusy how this translates for me and I query.
- Does my pastor have this same kind of pride in me, in a spiritual sense? Would he be able to boast before God about the joy he finds in how I live my Christian life? Have any of my pastors been able to do that?
- If not....why? Have I not been open about my faith? Have I become to be cautious in how I express my belief and joy in God? Is there anything in my faith walk that would cause another person to boast to God about me?
- Should pastors have this same attitude toward their congregations?
- If they don't, why not? Is it hardened hearts of the people they are to serve? Is it Satan at work in them (the congregation) hindering the work of the Pastor? Is it the pastor not having the right attitude toward "the flock"?
I hope so. :)