Posted: Friday, September 6
2 CORINTHIANS 8:16-24
Verse of the day
“We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift. We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.”
(2 Corinthians 8: 20-21)
Have you ever heard the term that someone is being “fake” or keeping up appearances? It generally means that someone is acting in a way unnatural to them to accomplish a goal. You might be extra nice to the boss you dislike to get that raise you’re hoping for… or you might pretend to like the friend of the person you’re interested in so you can spend more time with them. While the results of being “fake” might work out, it is generally not the best way to interact with people. However, while we don’t want to fake our Christianity, there is wisdom in doing or not doing actions that might be perceived as something worse than they are.
Paul had no doubt in his mind that they would handle the generous gift he speaks about in the right way. He trusted Titus and the other believer going with him, and therefore had no reason to worry. However, Paul understood that even though he was 100% sure that nothing bad was going on, other people’s perceptions might be different than his. They might have looked at Titus if he was the only one carrying the gift and wonder if he had kept anything for himself, or been dishonest in any way.
I love that Paul says his first motivation was to be honorable before the Lord. That should always be our primary focus. However, I believe Paul shows that there is wisdom in making sure that our appearance is honorable as well. If the desire of Titus’s heart was to bring the gift to the church, then there was nothing “fake” about bringing another person along to make sure his integrity could not be questioned. The same is true for us. We may have the right intentions, but it is also important that people can’t take what we do in the wrong way to put doubt in their minds about how good our God is. Let’s make sure the outward appearance of our actions match the desire in our heart to please Him.