Ask any student getting ready to take a final exam how he or she feels, and you’ll likely get a contradictory answer. The student will be filled with trepidation because the test will reveal his or her knowledge (or ignorance) but also with elation because it’s the last test of the course. What is standard procedure in education and business—the evaluation of students and employees—isn’t necessarily standard procedure in ministry. Churches too often shirk the responsibility of evaluating how their ministries are doing. They shouldn’t.
Prejudice is a heart problem. We adopt sinful attitudes towards others and recognizing them is the first step towards removing the blinders and—with God’s help—begin seeing the truth.
On more than one occasion, Paul admonished Timothy to station a sentry at the strong box of the faith, to defend the treasure vouchsafed to him (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:14). Timothy was to guard the gospel with his life. But he didn’t stand this post alone; Paul and the apostles stood with him—as did all who faithfully followed their teaching, from the first century to the 21st century.
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