How God Measures
At times we are asked to be a character witness for a person in a legal situation or a character reference for a person applying for a job. In these situations, we are being asked to confirm a person’s character. This is difficult to do because we only see the actions and hear the words; we don’t know the private actions or the motives of that particular person.
We at times hear ourselves say regarding another person, “that was out of character.” What we mean is that person doesn’t normally act that way. Yet, maybe it wasn’t out of character; it was their true character being revealed!
How does God measure character? We find the answer to this question when the apostle Paul wrote a letter back to answer the issue of those believers regarding the value of teachers in their midst…I’m of Apollos, Peter, Paul, or some other teacher. Paul writes and states they should not elevate teachers to prominence over others-they need to remember who their leaders are from God’s perspective.
Measured Regarding Responsibilities - 1
1 Corinthians 4:1
1 Let a man regard (view) us (Apollos, Peter, Paul and others) in this manner, as servants of Christ (under-rowers, the lowest kind of servants having no authority) and stewards (stewards are managers-having responsibilities and authority granted by the master) of the mysteries of God (truths once hidden but now revealed).
Don’t elevate your teachers or anyone for we are simply servants of Christ and managers of His resources entrusted to us as ambassadors for Christ.
Measured Regarding Reliability - 2
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy (character).
A steward is one who has been entrusted with something not there own possession.
Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus , the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother.
Paul, Apollos, Peter, and others at Corinth were stewards entrusted with God’s revealed truth. They must be found trustworthy-reliable.
Christ gave an illustration of this in Matthew 25:14-30 in the Message translation.
Matthew 25:14-30 (the Message)
14 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. 15 To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. 16 Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. 17 The second did the same. 18 But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. 19 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. 20 The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. 21 His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 22 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. 23 His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 24 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. 25 I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ 26 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? 27 The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. 28 “ ‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. 30 Throw him out into utter darkness.’
Stewards, managers of God’s revealed truth, are to manage the distribution of this truth. In Corinth, the believers had their favorite stewards of God’s revealed truth and they were assessing spirituality to the issue and they were making judgments regarding the teachers. For some, Paul just wasn’t as spiritual as Apollos, Peter, or others.
Paul’s replies…you don’t know my real character, I don’t know my real character, only God knows.
Measured by God – 3-5
3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court;
Man has no means of measuring my true character except by their standard of my outward actions but this isn’t full proof.
in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted;
Paul states that he can’t even examine fully himself, though he knows nothing against himself, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t something of which he is not now aware.
So if others can’t measure another’s character, if you can’t be measure yourself; who can?
but the one who examines me (the only one capable of measuring my character) is the Lord.
How does God measure character in His stewards?
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes…
Full character will not be known until the Lord comes and at that time God will give full disclosure regarding one’s character. The basis of the examination will be regarding the things hidden in darkness and motives of a person’s inner life.
who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness (not even known to us now about ourselves) and disclose (make known) the motives (purposes) of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise (commendation) will come to him from God.
Knowing these things may have been the motivation for King David to pray…
23 Search me (explore), O God, and know my heart; Try me (examine my genuineness) and know my anxious thoughts (the processing of information which causes distress and anxiety in one’s mind and heart)
24 And see (observe me to see) if there be any hurtful way in me, (that which causes another to stumble in their live or be disappointed in me, or to bring displeasure to You.)
And lead me in the everlasting way (God’s path).
Let’s pray this prayer as believers right now. Repeat it with me off the screen.
How God Measures Character!
1. by bringing to light the things now unknown (only God knows)
2. by disclosing the purposes of the heart (only God knows
When will it be brought to light and disclose?
When Jesus comes back for us!
1. Regard your leaders as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s revealed truth.
Don’t overvalue them and neither undervalue them.
2. Only God knows a man’s real character.
Disappointed but not devastated when one falls.
3. Your clear conscience is not a proof of genuine character.
You can pray as David did for God to reveal.
4. You will be commended one day for your character by God Himself.
Paul’s exhortation to the people at Corinth was to remind them that if they held their leaders in godly perspective they wouldn’t be divisive about who was the better leader.