What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
Thoughts for Today:The man mentioned in our passage today was chosen by the contributing churches to make certain the money they gave was ultimately used for the intended purposes. (Some people believe this person to be Luke, however it is only speculation, as Paul does not mention him by name.)
Since Paul was the Apostle who first brought the Gospel to the Corinthians, he might have demanded that they trust him alone with their offering. And they probably would have done so. Yet Paul made the suggestion that they use a delegation (see 1 Corinthians 16:3). Why? Because he wanted to avoid any possibility of distrust or question of misapplication of funds.
Paul demonstrated great wisdom when he required and supported these brothers to accompany him on his journey. But was it to keep him straight? To make sure he wasn't tempted? Of course not. The purpose they served was to prevent anyone from doubting his integrity. Therefore, everyone in Corinth could give generously and with the complete confidence that their gift would reach the intended party.
Questions to Ponder:The example of Paul is a wonderful lesson for us to apply as we administer the gifts of our own churches. He demonstrates that our concern should not be limited to only personal accountability and integrity before God. However, it is also not enough to only have the honor and trust of men. We must walk both in purity of heart and purpose before God, and also above reproach in the eyes of the people we serve (to whatever degree is possible). Are your actions acceptable to God and people? Have you taken the necessary precautions to make certain the ways you conduct monetary affairs are above reproach?