10/10 1 Thessalonians 2:5

5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed-God is witness.

One of the greatest detriments to hearing the call of the gospel is the injury done to others in the name of Jesus. When people call themselves Christians and yet operate out of greed, their actions inoculate those they wound against a saving faith in Jesus. Because of the painful experience, those injured by people using the name of Christ are reluctant to accept anything labeled "Christian."

The apostle Paul declared that his testimony to the Thessalonians was working with his own hands to provide his needs. He had the right to accept an offering for his support, but he did not want anyone to think he was bringing them the gospel for personal gain. Paul did not use flattery to promote himself, nor did he seek personal fame. These are tools that hucksters use to abuse Christianity for personal ambition.

When you see a Christian leader demand a large salary, use flattery, or seek self-exaltation, it should be a warning sign that the person is either using Christianity for selfish reasons or has lost their first love. That person will appeal to those same weaknesses in others to draw them to be followers. For example, the self-exalting person seeking fame will tell others how they have the potential to be great leaders in their organization. The greedy leader will tell others how their giving will be returned to them tenfold from God.

Warning: Inspiring people who stir up others are not necessarily inspired by God. Know the warning signs. Remember Jesus' and Paul's examples. Genuine godly leaders are servants.