Principled motives become a plumb line for the actions of a Kingdom citizen.
Paul did not make plans lightly. He chose to fulfill his calling to preach the Good News to the Gentiles with a deeply held conviction that his movement and actions mattered in light of eternal purpose for others. His delayed itinerary visit to Corinth created room for the faith community to correct error among themselves. Paul's delay was a compassionate response, and underscored the truism toward his purpose as he adjusted the travel plans on his calendar. As discussed last week:
Principled motives are a form of honor to self and others.
Principled motives provide a focal point - or a boundary - regarding one's movement or action. In the pause of such intention, the light of eternal purpose for oneself or others, is considered.
An additional aspect of principled planning is that of applying what many call 'the measure of success.'
What is the measure of success?
In today's fast paced world, application of measurement is used to track performance or production. This measuring tool is called a metric. Metrics are applied to practically every conceivable action, process, or procedure to calculate or determine outcomes. The standards given on the forefront of a project aid in creating purposeful goals, and serve as quantitative markers for reaching success: the desired end.
Paul was no stranger to metrics. He was well able to measure his achievements under the Law, and did so openly when writing to the church at Philippi.
However, a closer look at his communication with the Corinthian believers reveal that the metric of his eternal purpose and success in the Kingdom was not a list of accolades detailing the accomplishments of his previous season. Neither did he highlight the miracles that occurred by his hands; nor did he recount the number of those born again by his proclamation of the Gospel as the identifying factor of success as a Kingdom citizen.
Paul considered such an account a secondary, albeit necessary assessment, which he did with hesitation. He considered renumeration to be a type of non-profitable boasting. Such measurement statistics were needful only to clarify the mark of his true apostolic authority.
Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable. 2 Corinthians 12:1
In contrast, Paul analyzed his accomplishments with a rubric. A rubric outlines necessary conditions that reveal mastery over procedural milestones within the measuring standard.
In matters pertaining to the Kingdom of God, a rubric provides an understudy or representative the "how-to" knowledge of what motivation(s) and action(s) qualify as successful before the King.
In other words, performance and production are metric outcomes, weighed by a rubric, or mastery measurement.
Paul discovered the measurement of mastery in the pursuit of his chief aim to reach the mark and high prize of his calling.
What was the rubric Paul discovered?
The testimony of the conscience.
Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 2 Corinthians 1:12 kjv
In modern language, the passage reads:
God has empowered us to conduct ourselves in a holy manner and with no hidden agenda. God's marvelous grace enables us to minister to everyone with pure motives, not in the clever wisdom of the world. 2 Corinthians 1:12
When it came time to make decisions, Paul placed his motives and actions under the proper assessment system. The measure of process, or, metric was considered, yet the heart posture yielded the statistic of Kingdom success: the rubric. This defined true accomplishment.
The King's rubric is the testimony of the conscience. Through this measuring mechanism, the following markers are identifiers to mastery:
no hidden agenda (simplicity)
pure motives (godly sincerity)
The King's rubric is a vertical accounting which deeply affects horizontal outcomes.
Vertical access to God's grace provides both principled motives and pureness of heart that produces a clear conscience.
Mastery, recorded as the receipt of the King's Empowering Presence, rather than the accounting of converts, geographical impact, or the multitude of followers, is the true measurement of success in the Kingdom.
The testimony of the conscience is the proper measuring tool for every Kingdom citizen.
In Him ~
Next Week: Where Conscience & Favor Meet