You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6 nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8)
What is true, right and just can commend itself. It does not need to be fixed up! The truth can stand on its own.
The truth comes in a straight forward manner, out in the open. The lie and rationalization has to hide.
The gospel is plain and commends itself to all who have ears to hear. The word of God commends itself to the heart of faith.
When we find ourselves flattering someone OR dressing up words OR hiding our motives, we are in those moments running from the truth.
Trickery, deceit, impure motives, praise from others are signs that we are afraid of the truth and deciding for what is false.
Jesus says to us: Let your yes, be yes and your no, be no!
When we speak to please God, what is our speech like? When we speak to please others, what is our speech like?
What causes confusion - in our thinking, speaking, deciding and acting?
What are some struggles we have between being influenced by others and getting our direction from the Lord?
When we recognize that there is tension between what we want and what God wills, what can we do? When we are confused about the direction we ought to take, what can we do?