9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Over the past few verses and even in Corinthians, Paul made it a point to tell the churches that he didn’t want to be a burden to them.
Paul was bi-vocational in that he made tents to pay his way (Acts 18:1-4) while he preached the Gospel. Even though the churches he wrote to were mature, his aim was not to burden them or to be a stumbling block for any who questioned what he did. It takes a certain level of maturity to recognize potential pitfalls before they occur, and finances was one of these pitfalls many ministries have. Did he refuse someone slipping him a few bucks? It’s hard to say but he certainly didn’t require it.
Today, as you consider ministries you support, consider slipping that ministry or person an extra few bucks, not because you have to but because you want to. When missionaries come home on furlough, the stresses of having to raise support are real. While you may never know it, going from church to church and small group to small group takes a lot out of you. Why not ease that burden just a little today?