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Daily Reading: Job 23:1-27:23 ESV, 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11 ESV, Psalm 41:1-13 ESV, Proverbs 22:5-6 ESV

Daily Verse: “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” (2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV)

EILIKRINEIA (1505): “Denotes “sincerity, purity”; it is described metaphorically in 1 Cor 5:8 as “unleavened (bread); in 2 Cor 1:12, “(godly) sincerity,” it describes a quality possessed by God, as that which is to characterize the conduct of believers.”[i]

Godly conduct.

Paul, accused of acting insincerely by the Corinthians, responds the only way he can.  Charged with showing worldly shrewdness in his letters, Paul asks them to look at his actions.  God motivates the apostles’ movements, giving Paul purity of intention, governed by Christ’s grace.  Actions do speak louder than words.

In this world, people will accuse you of many things.  As a Christ-follower, expect harsh judgment from both believers and non-believers.  One lady I served with on church staff didn’t think “her Jesus loving friend was acting like Jesus” because I didn’t do what she wanted me to do.  I missed the memo of her promotion to God.

Flittering sparrow.

When people falsely accuse you of misdeeds, Godly sincerity becomes evident in your actions.  Instead of responding to my friend’s cruel words, I let my actions speak for themselves. 

“Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.” (Proverbs 26:2 ESV)

Following Christ puts you under the microscope.  People love to find reasons not to submit to God.  Like a fish swimming in a bowl, people watch for you to fall, holding faults they find against you. Where Christ offers grace, people provide judgment.  Do the best you can, trusting God’s promise:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)

Godly sincerity means doing your best with what the good Lord gives you.  When you falter, own your mistakes and trust God will use them to further the kingdom.  Success doesn’t come without failure.  Our weaknesses highlight God’s strength.  We can do all things in Christ, including standing firm in the face of wrong judgments.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 77) Thomas Nelson

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