taking pains to do what is right

Read 2 Corinthians 8:16-21.

Contrary to a popular expression, the devil is not the one in the details. Rather, as this careful word from an apostle shows, God’s people, when going about their service in the name of the Lord and for the sake of his gospel, “take pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of others.” (vs.21) In fact, it is God who is to be thanked (vs.16) when such strong concern for integrity and blamelessness is found in a servant of Christ. While criticism will always be an attendant of all ministry, the careful avoidance of needless criticism (vs.20) should be the spirit found in every Christian leader. This should be true whether the issue is the proper handling of church funds, such as is the case here in this passage, or any matter that reflects on our Lord and the message about him.

Father God, ever pour this sort of concern into my heart, to give a great care about how my thoughts, words and actions reflect on you, your message to this world and your people. As you are ever trustworthy and blameless in your service to all, may I be found to be like you in intent and performance. To the praise of your glory, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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