even though as apostles of Christ we could have ·used our authority over you [thrown our weight around; exercised our prerogatives]. But we were very gentle with you, like a ·mother [nurse; nursing mother] caring for her [L own] little children.
Our message to you is true, our motives are pure, our conduct is absolutely above board. We speak under the solemn sense of being trusted by God with the Gospel. We do not aim to please men, but to please God who knows us through and through. No one could ever say, as again you know, that we used flattery to conceal greedy motives, and God himself is witness to our honesty. We made no attempt to win honour from men, either from you or from anybody else, though I suppose as Christ’s own messengers we might have done so. Our attitude among you was one of tenderness, rather like that of a devoted nurse among her babies. Because we loved you, it was a joy to us to give you not only the Gospel of God but our very hearts—so dear did you become to us. Our struggles and hard work, my brothers, must still be fresh in your minds. Day and night we worked so that our preaching of the Gospel to you might not cost you a penny. You are witnesses, as is God himself, that our life among you believers was honest, straightforward and above criticism. You will remember how we dealt with each one of you personally, like a father with his own children, stimulating your faith and courage and giving you instruction. Our only object was to help you to live lives worthy of the God who has called you to share the splendour of his kingdom.
Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did.
Even though we had the samchut [authority] to be able to throw our weight around as Shlichim (Emissaries) of Moshiach, yet we became anav (humble) and eidel (gentle) among you, as a nursing imma (mother) might take care of her own yeladim.
Even though we could have imposed upon you our demands as apostles of Christ, instead we showed you kindness and were gentle among you. We cared for you in the same way a nursing mother cares for her own children.
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