Our purpose is to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of others. (2 Corinthians 8:21)
This morning, I was coaching my son about the necessity for planning and implementation. As per my devotional yesterday, the planning requires divine inspiration and must be purpose-driven. The implementation is totally up to God. For “unless the Lord builds the house, those who built it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Yet, we must be available to partner with God in the building process. For, planning without effective execution is a waste of time, talent and resources.
In this morning text, Paul reminds us that our purpose as followers of Christ must always be to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of others. Our name should be synonymous with integrity. Honor should be our motto. We should honor God in everything we do and say, as well as honor our commitments to others. There should also be honor in our relationships, in our financial or business transactions, and our attitude.
Many of us need to make fundamental changes in our lifestyle to live an honorable life. I am not talking about acting honorably when people are looking. There is a fundamental difference between acting and being. The believer is called to be honorable by living a righteous and holy life. We are the royal priesthood and the holy nation. Honor is in our spiritual DNA.
However, for those who find it challenging to live honorably and model holiness, can I encourage you to consider these five questions? First, who is influencing you? We are all a product of our environment and surrounding, to some degree. The people in our sphere of influence shape who we are, whether we know it or not. Think about whom you want to become in this new decade and what you want to accomplish. Do you have a mentor in your life to coach you? Is there an accountability person to keep you on course? Who are the people who have the most access to you? Do the people that have the most access to you reflecting the identity you want to cultivate?
Second, what is your passion? Purpose is often discerned between the boulevard of passion and the avenue of giftedness. What is the one thing you would do if money was not a concern? Unfortunately, most people have to work for a living instead of living out their passion through a vocation. What is it that makes you feel satisfied, no matter how many hours you put into it? Whatever that is, you will do it right 100% of the time no matter how toilsome it can be.
Third, what do your checkbook and calendar say about you? I read this question from All Pro Dad and thought it to be so apropos. The way we spend our time and money reflects our passion. The money and time we spend in ministry or give to a ministry say a lot about our passion, or lack thereof, for God. As a husband and father, my time and money are invested in caring for my family to the best of my ability. I am also very passionate about God. So I’m always thinking about ministry and finding ways to help others in the name of God.
Fourth, what habits are you cultivating? Godliness does not come naturally to sinful beings. We have to work at it and cultivate it. No one wakes up with integrity oozing out of him or her. Honesty is not automatic. That is why we have to read the Bible for instructions on developing healthy habits. The habits that are needed to live with honor and godliness are reflected in Philippians 4:8- “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This text has become the motto of my life.
Lastly, are you driven by fear or by faith? Fear is necessary for our existence. Only a foolish person has no fear. Most people should be afraid of getting hurt or killed. We certainly should have a reverent fear of God (Proverbs 1:7). However, we should never allow fear to neutralize our faith. Fear is a natural feeling induced by perceived danger or threat. Faith is a supernatural trust and confidence in God notwithstanding the perceived danger or threat. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “For God did not give us the spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. Don’t be afraid to make the necessary adjustments in your life so you can live a purpose-driven life to the glory of God.
Take the time to reflect on these five questions as you move into this New Year. Pray for God to help you answer them in such a way as to become the person that God intended for you to be. Then help someone else to answer the same questions. Indeed, helping someone else to answer these questions can help you is to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of others.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help my brothers and sisters that are struggling to discover their true identity as servants of God. Give them the strength of character to live with honor to the glory of Almighty God.