But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
—2 CORINTHIANS 4:2
Michael Leister: European Bible Training Center | Germany
Have you ever felt pressure because sowing the word of God did not produce a great, visible, or instantaneous harvest among the people you were ministering to? Welcome to Paul’s world. In his second letter to the Corinthians, amid defending his apostleship, Paul also gives a personal letter filled with comfort and direction in difficult situations like preaching the word to hardened hearts. Paul offers the most important principle that we must follow when we communicate the gospel: speak not for the applause of people, but for the approval of God. Ministering in Germany can be discouraging. Hearts are hardened by materialism and the zeitgeist God is the One who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant (2 Cor. 3:6). It is a ministry of the Spirit and of righteousness (2 Cor. 3:8–9), and a ministry which is enduring (2 Cor. 3:11). Ministering in Germany can be discouraging. Hearts are hardened by materialism and the zeitgeist (spirit of the age). Yes, our country is the country of the Reformation, and yet it is also the country of the Enlightenment, higher criticism, and postmodernism. Therefore, there is a temptation to adapt the content or high standards of the gospel message to make it more acceptable. Yet, what great comfort we find in that God has entrusted to us His truth. It is God who calls people to himself. It is God who lets light shine out of darkness (ex nihilo), and it is God who approves our reputation by applying the truth to the conscience of man. Let’s fully trust in God by using His potent word of truth. Speak and communicate God’s truth for His approval, not that of men.