6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Song of Songs 1:1–4:16
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Psalm 50:1-23
Proverbs 22:22-23

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

2 Corinthians 8:20-21 (NLT): “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.”

Reflections from Scripture:

In 2 Corinthians 8:19, we read that the Apostle Paul was carrying a large financial gift from the Macedonian churches to the poor saints in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem believers were being persecuted (financially, etc.) for their faith, so Christians in other countries wanted to help them.

But Paul knew the sinfulness of the human heart. Paul knew of the precious financial gift they were carrying and the incredibly worthy cause for which it was given. The money needed to be protected. 

But it wasn’t just the money that needed to be protected. The guys traveling with that money needed to be protected from even the appearance of evil. Because it’s quite possible that every penny could end up in the hands of the Jerusalem saints, and yet there might be some who would allege that some money was taken – even when it wasn’t.

So Paul, in 2 Corinthians 8:20-21, noted that he had taken extra precautions to protect the money and the integrity of everyone traveling with that money.

While we should not be consumed with what others think about us and what we are doing, we must take precautions to protect our integrity. If we lose our integrity, we lose so much more!

So if you are handling someone else’s money, take precautions to protect the money and your integrity. 

If you are meeting with someone of the opposite gender, take precautions to protect your integrity and the integrity of the one you are meeting with.

If you are serving in a children’s department or oversee other people’s children in some additional capacity, take precautions to protect the children and your integrity. 

Just as the Apostle Paul saw fit to take precautions to protect his integrity, so must we do the same in so many areas of our life.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I realize that it takes a lifetime to build integrity and only one false allegation to place a dark shadow upon it. Therefore, help me live in such a way that I am always above reproach. Help me also to think of ways to set up safeguards so that others can find comfort in my integrity. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash