Paul was passionate for God's Kingdom. He was motivated by a sense of calling and purpose to take the Good News message of life in Christ to the known world. Pretty big mission, if you ask me!
It's so easy when you're passionate about a purpose, when you're fully committed to fulfilling a God-given calling (or any calling, for that matter) to drift into a way of thinking that the end justifies the means. We can think that the purpose trumps the people, that accomplishing the task justifies abusing the trust and the feelings of friends, family, and those we lead. We can get the cavalier attitude of "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs!" We attack the objective and ignore the collateral damage that occurs in the process.
A paraphrase of the ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath for physicians and medical practitioners includes the thought, "First of all, I will do no harm.."
The Psalm-writer David, well aware of his weaknesses and his potential for "collateral damage" said: "5 O God, you know how foolish I am;my sins cannot be hidden from you. 6 Don't let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,O Sovereign Lord of Heaven's Armies.Don't let me cause them to be humiliated,O God of Israel." (Psalm 69:5-6 NLT)
May no one be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act!
Father, I pray for my friends and me that you will keep us aware of our own weaknesses and of our tendencies to rationalize for the sake of success and "getting the job done." Help us to always put people ahead of projects, character above conquest, and to remember that Jesus gave us the Good Shepherd, not the CEO, as our example of leadership. May we do good and not harm, and may no one be hindered or caused to stumble by what we do or say. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
No One Will Be Hindered
Reading: 2 Corinthians 6; Psalm 16
3 We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. (2 Corinthians 6:3-4 NLT)
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