February 21

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

“We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way” vss. 3-4

Paul had been reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, and now, as Christ’s ambassador, he believed that others might be reconciled to God through his ministry. Because of that important calling he was now determined not to be an obstacle to anyone’s faith. His behavior and the behavior of those who were his fellow servants was crucial, and he took great pains to exercise every virtue in overcoming the adversities that regularly came his way. He realized that the way he behaved was a reflection on Christ, and people were either repelled or attracted to Christ depending on their reaction to him. That’s how it still is for those who understand themselves to be ambassadors for Christ. People are watching! And what they see in us makes all the difference in the world–it may even be a factor in their salvation! Granted, we don’t really like to think like this. Today is Mardi Gras and we’d maybe like to engage in every kind of debauchery and not have it reflect on our witness. But that’s not how it works. The way we conduct ourselves in moments of triumph and suffering has an impact on others, and our most effective evangelism comes as people watch us deal with the joys and sadness of daily living.

Thought for the Day: Are others seeing Christ in me? Do I care?

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