In the Eyes of Others

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 8:16-24

Doing what is right “in the eyes of people” is seldom taught in the church. Instead, we emphasize Peter’s words in Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than people!” Again, we recall Paul’s testimony in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, “We are not trying to please people.”

In spite of these verses, however, the Apostle gives no green light for Christians to ignore valid opinions that the world has of them. On the contrary, Paul knew how important it is for believers to live lives that even unbelievers recognize as worthy of approval. A good reputation with outsiders was important to the Apostle. Thus his special care in handling the money collected for the struggling Christians in Jerusalem, and thus his words, “We are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men [people]” (v. 21).

Paul’s point is that Christians should try to look good in the eyes of both God and the world. Both need to see believers doing what is right. And even though the world often may think followers of God to be fools, a life of honesty, consistency, and love cannot easily be denied and ignored.

PRAYER

Dear God, keep us pure so that others may see the right in us and give you the glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.