Sealed with a handshake
The money that had been collected in Corinth had to be taken to its destination. The money was handled very carefully. Paul and the others did everything possible to ensure that the money reached its destination safely and that nobody could suspect them of taking some. 19… The churches handpicked him to go with us as we travel about doing this work of sharing God’s gifts to honor God as well as we can, taking every precaution against scandal. 20We don’t want anyone suspecting us of taking one penny of this money for ourselves. We’re being as careful in our reputation with the public as in our reputation with God.
Almost like a modern-day cash transit security company guards were appointed to accompany Titus to deliver the money into the right hands. They suspect that Luke en Apollos went along as guards.
To convince people not to worry about all of the money reaching its destination, he gives a quick testimonial for the two “guards”. Of Luke he said: 18We’re sending a companion along with him, someone very popular in the churches for his preaching of the Message. And of Apollos the following: 22That’s why we’re sending another trusted friend along. He’s proved his dependability many times over, and carries on as energetically as the day he started.
And of them both: 23… The brothers who travel with him are delegates from churches, a real credit to Christ.
Wow, this is a good testimonial of these men and certainly more than sufficient to convince people that all the money would safely reach the poor people in Jerusalem.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case today. So many times people came into the factory and did business with us in the Name of the Lord. And how often it was precisely these guys who lied to us and cheated us and cost us a lot of money. Eventually we decided to put these guys with the Bible in the hand under the microscope before taking a chance on doing business with them again.
This is bad, but nobody’s fault but our own. We humans have made such a mess that nobody trusts anybody else anymore. Nowadays we have to sign a bunch of documents with a lot of small print to ensure that one party does not cheat the other. A friend told me about one of South Africa’s top businessmen who closes his deals with nothing but a handshake. It gives me goose bumps, but unfortunately this is very rare.
Let you and I make a point of turning this one around. Let’s live like Titus, Apollos and Luke. Let’s do business in a way that will glorify God’s Name. Let’s do everything above board. Let’s show the world how honest a person can be, because then God’s Name will be glorified!
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Where is the grey area in your life?
Where do you have to take care not to deal under the counter?
How can you glorify God’s Name?
Lord, people mess with trust and honesty! We struggle to trust one another, because we often fail one another. You expect 100% honesty from all of your children. Please help us not to disappoint You. Amen