Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Reflections for February 9, 2016

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Reflections for this date are based on the following scripture passages:
1 Corinthians 4
1 Corinthians 5
1 Corinthians 6
Leviticus 8
Leviticus 9

To Look Good or to Be Good?

When taking stock of ourselves, what is our intent - to look good or to be good? If it is to look good, we will likely choose a standard against which to judge ourselves that will make us look good. However, if our intent is to be good we will compare ourselves to the true standard.

Paul addressed such a concern in 1 Corinthians 3 & 4. People in the Corinthian church were comparing themselves to various leaders saying they were followers of Paul or Apollos. But Paul told them "No one should boast in men" (1 Corinthians 3:21) He went on, in the first verses of chapter 4, to mention three standards we might use to compare ourselves:  that of other people, that of ourselves, or that of the Lord. The true standard, though, is the Lord. If we use other people as our standard we can always find someone with whom to compare ourselves that will make us look good even if we are not. If we use ourselves as the standard, Paul says, " I am not conscious of anything against myself." (1 Corthians 4:4) But the Lord, says Paul, "will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts." 

With the Lord, the intentions of our heart, that is, our motives, always trumps actions. We can do any number of things that make us look good, but what is our motive? Are we concerned about serving the Lord and being obedient or simply to make ourselves look good? If our motive is to look good, not only do we have the wrong intent, but our actions will not last. The question is whether we want to appear to be the person God intends us to be or if we want to actually be the person He wants us to be?

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