January 14 Examine Your Methods

scripture reading: James 3:13–18
key verse: 1 Peter 2:12

Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

History records lamentable incidents, such as the Inquisition and the Crusades, that had seemingly spiritual goals but completely wrong methods. That’s why, once the proper motivation for your goals for this year is established, it is essential that you assess the wisdom of your methods.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Are my methods in keeping with the revealed will and principles of God as recorded in the Scriptures? For instance, a goal of becoming the company president may be set with the proper motivation for leading the business overseas so that the markets abroad can be used as distribution points for gospel literature. However, accomplishing that goal by manipulating accounting records that falsely increase sales figures and thus mislead others is thoroughly condemned by the Scriptures.

A second question is: Are my methods in any way unjustly harming my fellow human beings? If the individual described in the previous paragraph reaches his goal through slandering an employee who also seeks the same position, his methods are wrong.

Examine your methods by observing these standards. When you reach your goal, you can then be sure that God is honored.

Dear Lord, I pause this day to examine my ways before You. Please prevent me from harming my fellow human beings in any way. Let my methods be in harmony with Your will and the principles revealed in Your Word.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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