Guides Not Guards

Guides Not Guards

09 November 2019

Guides Not Guards
Jim Stephens

Reading: Job 38; 1 Corinthians 4-6

1 Don’t imagine us leaders to be something we aren’t. We are servants of Christ, not his masters. We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them. 2 The requirements for a good guide are reliability and accurate knowledge. 3 It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless. 4 I’m not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesn’t mean much. The Master makes that judgment. (1 Corinthians 4:1-4 MSG)

When I read this, I’m always drawn to what Paul says about not caring about popular opinion and what others think of him. I’d like to be loved and respected and, I want to influence others to Godly living. Yet at the same time, I want to be free from the foolishness of making comparisons on who’s doing the best job and who’s most effective. By God’s grace, I’m making a little progress on this.

But check this!
Paul says we are not security guards posted to keep others away from God’s most sublime secrets, but we’re guides to lead them into the best of God’s Kingdom! Do you see this distinction? I’ve never seen it the way I see it this morning!

Guards keep everyone behind the lines and keep the precious jewels, beautiful art, important people safe from the tourists, the customers, the “common folk!” Guards must be polite but firm, knowing the rules and knowing who’s in and who’s out!

Guides open the gate, lead the way, take the interested and excited people into the experience, guiding the way, explaining each step and detail, and make sure the visitor sees, learns, and experiences as much as they are able to take in! Paul says guides must be reliable and knowledgeable.

Are we guides leading people into God’s sublime secrets or guards keeping people out?


Father, Please help me not to dissipate the faith you’ve given me through the pointless activities of judging myself, judging others, and making comparisons. I want to be a good guide, leading people into your Kingdom’s best, and not a guard, keeping them out. Amen.

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