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Monday, February 02, 2015

Truthfulness in Ministry (part 3)

“But I call God to witness against me--it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.” [2 Co 1:23-24 ESV]

Someone observed that, while  we have many points of view, God has infinite viewing points. We only see a situation from a certain perspective until we chose to move and expand our view. God on the other hand sees everything all at once. Men may be blinded to seeing truth by varying shades of deceit, but God sees truth in the light.

Being falsely accused of unfaithfulness in ministry, Paul addresses doubts held against him by calling God to witness his integrity. This is a beautiful truth concerning truth: it always stands before God.

When Paul’s calling was called into question by those who sought to undermine his ministry, Paul called on God to witness his calling. When Paul was accused of using the ministry for personal gain, he called God to witness concerning the purpose of the church. When Paul was doubted because of his necessary change of plans, Paul demonstrated that it was God who willed that he did not come when he did--but now we can almost hear Paul say like a father scolding rebellious children, “NOW don’t make me come down there!”

The way he expresses himself, Paul is communicating his desire to deal with hurt. He basically says, “look, every every time we meet, you hurt me and it is hard to find joy in ministry--and I work for your joy; but, now . . . well, you really don’t want me to come down there. Really.”

This is part of the tough love of ministry, speaking the truth in love, just as God sees it. We can learn from Paul a depth of forgiveness that is found only by one who has been truly forgiven. When we see from God's perspective, forgiveness comes much easier.

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