Over the summer I have fallen far behind when it comes to typing up some of my journal thoughts into blog posts. I have made notes, though, on some of those thoughts! So, over the next few weeks I hope to move back through those notes and try to make some sense of them. For some, it will probably be hopeless, but maybe I can squeeze out a few blog posts!
Today I was reading back through my notes from a late July reading of 2 Cor 2. Paul had to say a lot of harsh things to the Corinthians, and the result was that he was personally attacked by some who were seeking to have their own way with the Corinthian church. Consequently, in 2 Corinthians, Paul wastes little time stepping up to defend himself and his integrity.
One particular verse stood out to me. In 2 Cor 2:17, Paul states that he does not “peddle” the Word of God, but presents it out of sincerity – out of obedience to God.
The discussion in general – and this verse in particular – leads to the question: Why do you serve/minister/participate actively in the ministry of the gospel? (It is a question which assumes service in the first place, which, in truth, isn’t an option when we are living in line with Biblical teaching.)
Many of us fall into categories that can lead to “peddling” the Word of God. My category is obvious – my family receives full-time support because of my husband’s role as pastor. Would we minister as whole-heartedly without that support?
Would you minister as whole-heartedly if it didn’t mean a bigger clientele for your business?
Would you minister as whole-heartedly if it didn’t result in more friends for your kids?
Would you minister as whole-heartedly if you could maintain your social status while doing nothing? Even if that social status simply means fulfilling the expectation of your family or circle of friends?
The most important thing is truly that we are serving. But, as we pour our hearts and lives into ministry for the kingdom, may we do so with an abandon that is separate from any benefit we receive. May we minister from sincerity and never be “peddlers” of the holy Word of God.