I’m intrigued by this passage, and it hangs heavy on me. Paul doesn’t even trust himself when it comes to judging his own faithfulness. It’s very easy for us to fool others about our faithfulness. It’s clear here that it’s even easy to deceive ourselves. Paul didn’t even trust his own view of himself. “When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.”
What are our private motives? Why do we go to church? Why do we go to men’s group on Tuesday night? Why do we dBrag? Or for some of us, why do we NOT dBrag? What is motivating us? Do we just want to look good to our buddies? Do we genuinely hunger for God to speak to us?
What if we were in Paul’s shoes?
11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, without enough clothes to keep us warm. We have endured many beatings, and we have no homes of our own. 12 We have worked wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We respond gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash – right up to the present moment.
What is the cost for us? I mean, we have plenty of food, drink, clothes and a pretty nice roof over our heads. We don’t get beat or abused – especially because of Jesus. What if all or any of that was required of us?
Time is short. These last days are getting tougher and tougher. God is looking for those who are willing to stick it out – to stand up and make a difference no matter what the cost.
I’m so thankful to have accountability in my life – and for the dBrags. I can’t do this on my own. If you’re not in some kind of accountability group – if you don’t have someone you can call and ask each other the hard questions, I encourage you to do this TODAY. We need to examine our deepest secrets and private motives and expose them before they destroy us.
God, show us today where we have hidden things in our hearts. You can’t use us if we’ve got secrets. Help us to have the courage to expose our secrets so we can become clean and effective, free from the chains the enemy has so carefully bound us in to the point we’ve become comfortable in them. Send Your Holy Spirit to clean house so you can bring power back into our witness. Refresh us, O God. Reset our hunger and thirst. Melt away everything that is in the way. Bless Your Name!