Today's reading provides a lengthy reminiscence by Paul of his time spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ among the Thessalonians. Like a parent or teacher, Paul takes pride in the people he taught. Recognizing the sincerity of Paul's personal sacrifices to preach and glimpsing the truth of his teaching, the Thessalonians became faithful Christians. They even were able to keep their faith as outsiders pressured and persecuted them, trusting that they were somehow following God's teaching. Paul is so moved by these memories that he confesses how much he has wanted to visit with the Thessalonians since he left.