Read 2 Corinthians 4:1–2; 1 Thessalonians 2:3–4
Let's think about an essential mark of servanthood: integrity...or absolute honesty.
Remember these words?
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:1–2)
And how about these?
For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:3–4)
There really isn't much to add, is there? Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it...as do servants of God. No ulterior motives. No hidden meanings. An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality.
As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others. We'll come to the place where all the substitutes will turn us off once we cultivate a taste for the genuine, the real.
I'm far from through, but this is enough for one sitting. We need to put it on the back burner and let it simmer for a while. Before going on with the rest of your day, take time to give some thought to your own life.
Think about becoming more of a servant...think of characteristics like transparent humanity and genuine humility and absolute honesty. Being real—that's what I want to get across—being who you really are and then allowing the Lord God to develop within you a style of serving that fits you.
Excerpted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.