2 Corinthians 1:12
“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.”
Observation/Application: Paul starts off this verse pointing us towards what we should be proud of, how we conduct and handle ourselves in the world; specifically in the cases of integrity and godly sincerity. He goes on to say that if you are able to do so it is not because of worldly wisdom or your own strength, but because of God’s grace. This is a prayer of mine for my own life. I so desire to be like Jesus, yet fall short so many times. This is a continual reminder to me to be thankful for the grace in which God allows me to live in. Growing up, I was always the good kid. I did what I was supposed to because I knew it was right. Unfortunately this began to become my identity. I struggled with the reason behind doing the right thing. Was I actually doing it because I knew that is what the Lord wanted of me, or to simply maintain an appearance that had started to become my identity? As a result of this battle, my integrity suffered. It became harder and harder to stay focused on why I was doing the “right things.” A battle of pride waged and still wages within me. Do I do what I do to please man, or to please the Lord? Because of the Lords constant reminders and not giving up on me when I have neglected to seek him, He has allowed me to break free of the expectations that I feel others have on me, and find my identity in being His. Though the war still wages, the Lord has given me victory. Once you know whose you are, you know who you are. The Lord is continually reminding me who I am, His child, and this has helped solidify my identity in him.
Paul then uses the words “godly sincerity.” This made me think of the life of a Christian in contrast with the ministry of Jesus. Many a times people have gotten a bad taste in there mouths from twofaced Christians. Claiming the relational aspect with Jesus yet neglecting the relational aspect of the actual conversation their having. Sometimes it becomes a job. Got to tell this person about Jesus. Ok good did it, check. It can be a task on a list of things to carry out. What so many Christians neglect is the aspect of Godly sincerity. Think of Jesus in his ministry. All throughout the gospels Jesus’ ministry is focused on people. Conversating with them, caring for them, loving them. The woman at the well, the centurion, the woman who was bleeding for 12 years, the lepers, I could go on and on. Jesus was relationally invested in all those he spoke with. This was why he made such an impact on so many lives. Not only was he working in immeasurable ways, but he was SINCERE. A word that is failing to maintain its meaning in todays culture. How many times have I said “ok we’ll hang out, text me” or “lets go here or there” and neither of which have came to pass. And that’s with people I know! It’s even easier with people you don’t know. Act all personable and sincere when the whole time you are somewhere else or you’re just waiting to get your point across. Even if it’s with good intentions, like sharing Jesus with someone, without being relational, you are so much less effective. In a world where so many people are only concerned with themselves, people are so taken back when you share with them that you care for them. As Jesus so cared and loved on all those he talked with, so do I need to treat others with godly sincerity.
How: Today and/or tomorrow I would like you guys to keep my accountable, if I seem to be insincere in conversation, tell me! So that like Jesus, I will not act in worldly wisdom but by the grace of God live in integrity and godly sincerity.