Paul is commending three individuals whom he will be sending back to the church in Corinth. There’s plenty of speculation about who this individual might be, but that may not be the point. What we do notice is that Paul is commending the brother for his attitude. He’s been tested in many ways, but he continues to be eager. Paul sees earnestness or eagerness as being very important for the follower of Christ. This attitude seems to weigh in more heavily for him than other skills and abilities. This desire for Christ and the gospel reflects the individuals’ attitude, and this speaks volumes.
Time and again Paul struggled with false teachers; those who were using Christianity as a tool to make money. It seems that a number of them were very clever communicators and were excellent at drawing people toward them. None of this impressed Paul, for he looked beyond outward skills and looked at the heart. He was looking for those who would be committed to serving Christ with great eagerness.
Our attitude says much about our relationship to Christ. It’s our responsibility to continually point people in the direction of Christ. Everything about our lives should be a call to become more and more like Jesus. Our attitude should be one of humble service, but with great eagerness to serve the Lord.
It is right to set appropriate boundaries in life, not working ourselves into a frazzle, but this should be done with the right attitude. There’s a major difference to be found in the lives of those who are willing to be poured out for Jesus, and those who see serving the Lord and the church as simply a job. Faithfully serving the Lord isn’t clocking in for a 9-5 job. Following Jesus is something that we do all-in with our entire being. We love Jesus and our attitude reflects this in everything that we do. The focus of our work is on reflecting Christ, not on finishing the hours I’m wiling to work for Jesus. We don’t get to hang up the work hat of Christianity.
Paul’s not the only one who notices attitude. People who are spiritually hungry are looking for something genuine and authentic. I can’t imagine someone being drawn toward Christ when they encounter someone with a bad attitude. Christians who spend their time being critical of others, or complaining about the work they need to do, simply do not attract others to Christ. Sadly, a bad attitude can become a repellant of the gospel. Paul seemed to know this and so he searched for the quality of eagerness in those whom he would entrust with sharing in the work of the early church.
Pray for a spirit of eagerness when it comes to serving the Lord. Our lives can become a shining witness to all that Christ can do, in and through us.
Lord, help me not to become distracted from an eager desire to serve and follow you today. Amen.
This post was written by Rev Carla Sandburg. You can find her original post here: reflectingtheimage.blogspot.com/2018/07/its-about-your-attitude.html