Friday, August 19, 2011

An Obstacle Inventory

By Joe Stowell

Read: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10
Let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. —Romans 14:13
Bible in a year:
Psalms 105-106; 1 Corinthians 3

Fault-finding is a popular pastime, and unfortunately a lot of us find it’s easy to join the fun. Concentrating on the warts of others is a great way to feel better about ourselves. And that’s just the problem. Avoiding the faults that need to be fixed in our own lives not only stunts our spiritual growth but also obstructs God’s work through us. God’s effectiveness through our lives is enhanced or hindered by the way we live.

It’s no wonder, then, that Paul made a concerted effort to “put no obstacle in anyone’s way” (2 Cor. 6:3 ESV). For him there was nothing more important than his usefulness for Christ in the lives of others. Anything that got in the way of that was dispensable.

If you want to be authentic and useful for God, take an obstacle inventory. Sometimes obstacles are things that in and of themselves may be legitimate, yet in certain contexts may be inappropriate. But sin is clearly obstructive to others. Gossip, slander, boasting, bitterness, greed, abuse, anger, selfishness, and revenge all close the hearts of those around us to the message of God through us.

So, replace your faults with the winsome ways of Jesus. That will enable others to see your “no-fault” Savior more clearly.

Wherever I am, whatever I do,
O God, please help me to live
In a way that makes me credible
As your representative. —Egner

Followers of Jesus are most effective
when attitudes and actions are aligned with His.

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