All of us, whether in formal ministry or not, are called to be ministers of Christ. We saw that earlier in chapter 5, where Paul tells us that we have been given the message of reconciliation and are called to be Christ’s ambassadors.
But it can be so easy for our ministry to be discredited. Put another way, it can be so easy for our Christian testimony to those around us to be discredited.
That’s why Paul wrote,
We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way. (3-4)
How can we be a stumbling block to those around us? By the way we live. By our attitudes and by our actions.
And so Paul did his best to make sure that he lived his life with integrity, no matter his situation. He said that though he went through multiple hardships, yet he lived in purity, understanding, patience, kindness, and love. (4-7)
Think about that for a minute. How often does our testimony suffer because in the midst of our hardships, we start complaining, we lose patience, and become self-centered, forgetting to be kind and loving to those around us?
Yet whether people honored him or not, whether people praised him or spread rumors about him, whether people considered him honorable or an imposter, whether people respected him or ignored him, whether he went through sorrow and joy, Paul always maintained his integrity.
He continued to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, holding on to righteousness, wielding the Word of God in one hand and the shield of faith in the other.
Can we say the same about ourselves? May our ministry to others never be discredited through our actions and attitudes. Let us instead walk each day in integrity, in love, in purity, and in patience. Most importantly let us walk in the power and comfort of the Spirit. And if we do, we will make a difference in this world.