2 Corinthians 8:21
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
It might have been supposed that the apostle would have considered himself superior to the considerations here adduced. His life was so completely unselfish, so obviously governed by higher than interested principles, that it seems as if he might have taken it for granted that no suspicion could attach to his personal administration of the alms to be forwarded to Judaea. Probably others thought thus; few, if any, could have suspected Paul of fraud and misappropriation. But he judged himself by a standard which was applicable to all Christian agents, a standard which every wise man, experienced in the ways of the world, will do well to adopt as his own.
I. THE RULE OF CONDUCT HERE PROPOSED.
1. Things honourable are things actually good, admirable, beautiful, in themselves. The word in the original denotes primarily this. What things are morally excellent and praiseworthy, let these things be done.
2. Things honourable are things reputable and approved. It is especially prudent to be very careful and scrupulous, and very open, in the administration of public money, and so to act that there may be no opening for slander or misrepresentation. And the same rule applies to other departments of conduct. It should not be a prominent motive with us to secure men's approval, yet our conduct should be such as to secure that approval, and even to command it.
3. Things honourable may best be provided by endeavouring to realize the inquisitive inspection of men and the all-searching gaze of the omniscient God.
II. THE MOTIVES URGING TO THE PRACTICAL ADOPTION OF THIS RULE.
1. It will tend to the satisfaction and peace of our own conscience.
2. It will tend to the honour of the religion we profess, when it is seen to be, not a cloak for covetousness, but an impulse to disinterestedness and a principle of integrity.
3. It will be for the glory of God. Actions done in his sight and at his command, from the motive of his love, and with the hope of his approbation, are the actions which the Christian should aim consistently and constantly to perform, in all positions and in all relations of life - T,
Parallel VersesKJV: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.