March 12

Thursday, March 12, 2020

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

I began my ministry with with a good bit of naïveté. I was convinced that the truth of the gospel would be so evident that people would automatically want to follow Jesus more closely. It seemed like such a compelling argument to me that I could not imagine people not seeing what I was seeing or hearing what I was hearing. I was unable to experience greater truths that had yet emerged to me. I was despondent that there were so many who just did not hear it the way I heard it.

I thought people who didn’t hear were just blinded, as Paul says here, by the “god of this world.” While I may not have confronted people with the error of their ways, I am confident that much of my preaching contained a fair amount of judgment for those who failed to see Christ as I saw Christ.

At some point, as I grew older, I realized that the one who failed to see or hear was me. I had made this ministry more about me and less about Christ. Paul, you see, teaches that we are not to make it about us. It is about being in service to others. It is less about the truth we tell and more about the truth we live.

In my ministry, I have come to what Paul Ricoeur calls the Second Naïveté. This is a more educated belief and hope that the gospel can make a profound difference in the world, but this is an informed gospel that is lived out each day. If we are to let this season speak to us, it cannot be about our pious speech. It must be about the way we live our lives.

So during a season of fasting, I invite you to join me in discovering new ways to serve others. One of the things I am giving up is the notion that this is about me. It is about demonstrating God’s love to the world in ways that let God’s light shine brightly and illuminate the darkness.

Humble me and use me, O Lord, to cast your light abroad. Amen.

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