Daily D – 2 Corinthians 6:3
We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 2 CORINTHIANS 6:3 (NLT)
A friend took me to lunch one day. I was going through a tough time and appreciated his interest. About two-thirds of the way through our meal, it dawned on me why we were spending time together over a meal for only the second time in the years of our acquaintance. We were there so that he could talk to me about my ministry failures.
Sometimes we discover there is only a certain length of time we are comfortable with other people speaking into a situation about which they know very little. This was one of those times.
Unsure of who provided what information, I felt obliged, like Paul Harvey, to tell the rest of the story. After clearing the air, he still wanted to press me into his wonderful plan for my renovation and restoration.
Paul wrote 1 and 2 Corinthians to deal with problems in this Gifted and Talented church he had started. Read on down the page in this chapter (vv. 11-13 in particular), and notice how this group of believers found fault with Paul. How then could he write what he wrote in verse 3? It goes back to lead measures and lag measures, inputs and outputs, initiative and response.
Paul did the right thing the right way for the right reason in the right timing. However, the results did not turn out as expected in this case. This should encourage you. Even an apostle can do all the right things and end up with the wrong results.
This is one of those “as far as it depends on you” texts. Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone,” (CSB). A couple of thoughts worth thinking arise from this verse. First, take the right lead measures. Do the right thing. Second, know that just as you have a choice in how to take initiative, the other person has a choice in how to respond. Not everyone will respond well.
Do the right thing anyway. It is much easier to live with unpleasant consequences if you know you took the high road.
Paul says in verse 8, “We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.” Integrity demands that we continue doing the right thing even when others oppose us and say mean and hateful things about us. The right lead measures, the right inputs, the right initiative can still get you fired, cause you to lose a friend, or make you feel like a failure.
Do the right thing anyway.
Ultimately, we have to leave the results to God. He is a better judge than we are. He loves those who oppose us and seeks their highest good just as he loves us. Ultimately Part Two, if they belong to God as we belong to God, we will experience reconciliation and restoration. It may be eternity before that happens, but it will happen. Some things take forever.
Do the right thing anyway.
I will do the right thing anyway.
Our Father, I like being liked. I do not like being disliked. Empower me to risk being disliked by doing what is right, just, fair, and compassionate. Empower me to do the right thing the right way in the right timing for the right reason. I will leave the results with you who always do what is Right. Amen.
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John 9:8, 9 His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit begging?” Some said, “He’s the one.” Others were saying, “No, but he looks like him.” He kept saying, “I’m the one.” (CSB)
Luke 6:43-45 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (CSB)
John 8:31, 32 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (CSB)