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We Take Great Pains

 

 

On Christmas Eve, Jarod's parents became concerned because they could not find their young son. Finally, they checked his room and found the five-year-old sitting quietly on his bed. His mom said, "Jarod, we've been looking everywhere for you. What are you doing in your room?" Jarod replied, "Nothing! With you and God and Santa Claus watching me all the time, I can't do anything!"1

 

It seems that there's always someone watching us...all of us. Today God has led me to a verse in 2 Corinthians:

 

"For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men" (v21).

 

Paul was writing to the Corinthians to remind them that they had promised to take up an offering for the struggling church in Jerusalem and to inform them that Titus and another dear brother would be arriving in Corinth to assist with the collection. Paul was concerned that it all be done rightly and with integrity. Specifically, he was concerned that the receiving of the offering be done rightly. Generally, he seemed to be sharing a principle that was important in his life for all situations: To take pains to do what is right. But he was concerned about this on two levels.

 

On the first level, he knew God was watching all he did and wanted to receive even the offering in a way that pleased the Lord. Why is that important? Obviously, it's important to do what is right because God is watching and, ultimately, we answer to Him.

 

On the second level, he knew that "the eyes of men" would be upon this whole process and he wanted to do rightly by them as well, for two reasons. First it was important for reasons of accountability. Paul knew he would be held accountable by the church and, therefore, knew it was important to do the right thing. We as church members are both accountable to each member of the body of Christ and should be in the habit of checking up on each other and holding each other accountable before the Lord. Asking those absent why they were and letting them know we missed them is a great example of this principle.

 

Next, Paul wanted to do right in the eyes of men as an example to believers and as a witness to unbelievers. Is that a priority for us? Do we care that others are watching? We should! We will be held accountable by God for the way we behave before them.

 

So what should we do with this passage? We should take it before the Lord. Ask God to open your eyes today to "see" how He wants to bring your life in line with His Word based on this passage. Are you mindful that others are watching you? Are you mindful that He's always watching? Do you live in a way that reflects that you know He's always watching?

 

Pray that the Lord will give you courage to live in such a way as to be an example to insiders and a witness to outsiders. In practical terms, we are to seek His strength to do what is right in His eyes and in the eyes of others.

We do this by seeking first His Kingdom and by loving "our neighbors" as ourselves. We look for opportunities to be both an example and a witness. And we depend solely on the Lord to enable us to do so.

 

Won't you go before Him now? He's waiting!

 

_______________________
1 Humor Connection, Date Unknown


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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