“We aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight, but also in the sight of man” (2 Cor. 8:21)
Paul wrote these words to assure the church in Corinth that he and his companions were taking proper care of a generous offering. Still, I cannot fathom a better ambition for our lives in general. To be sure, pleasing God must take a higher priority than pleasing man (see Gal. 1:10), but Christ said that the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love others (Matt. 22:37-39). Our daily lives should reflect this.
Mr. B, a gentleman from my hometown, lived a life that was honorable in the sight of God and man. I recently attended his funeral, and the church was overflowing with people because he had impacted so many lives.
It quickly became apparent that Mr. B spent his life investing in others and that his deepest desire was for everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. The family did a wonderful job of celebrating his legacy while keeping the focus on Christ. There was nothing grandiose or exaggerated about what his family shared. Though imperfect, Mr. B was a man of integrity and faithfulness.
A month later, I still find myself thinking about the service. Everything that was said about Mr. B also pointed back to Christ. What really struck me, as I considered all that his children shared was that, no matter how much they shined the spotlight on Christ, it never detracted from their dad. Rather, it allowed him to shine that much brighter. It reminds me of the moon reflecting the sun. The more we reflect Christ, the more beautifully we shine.
During the funeral, one of Mr. B’s daughters shared how she and each of her siblings reflected different attributes of their father. I am awestruck when I think of this in terms of God. How amazing He must be if the blending of the very best attributes of each of His children is only a reflection of His true character!
God has uniquely created and gifted each of us for a purpose. We often forget this truth and get caught up trying to be like someone else, but this only dims what God desires to show others through us.
Part of aiming at what is honorable in the Lord’s sight involves balancing contentment with who He has created us to be with the desire to be more like Christ. The beauty of that tension, though, is that we become more fully our true selves as we become more like Christ.
My prayer for us today is that we would each embrace who we are as individuals and allow His light to shine through us to a dark world. I pray that we, like Mr. B, will “aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight, but also in the sight of man.”