The Daily Nudges often reflect what I’m doing as I go about my tasks, or else the trails of the mind take their flight to find some nest of ideas on a high perch to pitch to the Fellows. Today’s Nudge grows out of the former, since yesterday in a men’s meeting in Taubate I shared 10 guiding principles of the work in that city since its inception. It was an appropriate moment for it, since we’ve received some new people coming from different approaches to the work. Most of those principles were illustrated in my handout yesterday from passages in 2 Corinthians, the ministerial epistle.
One of the principles, the one I’ve chosen to share here, that has been a mainstay of my ministry throughout my years in Brazil is that of transparency.
As Paul taught on the collection and the handling of funds, he wrote, “For we are concerned about what is right not only before the Lord but also before men” (2 Cor 8:21, NET). The funds were to be administered in a manner that was honest and above board.
That kind of openness or transparency is important not only in finances, but in spiritual and moral matters. And in opening the heart for a greater fellowship and deeper communion.
Paul’s basis of appeal to the Corinthians to be open with him, was his own transparency with them. Earlier in the same letter he had written:
“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart has been opened wide to you. Our affection for you is not restricted, but you are restricted in your affections for us. Now as a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts to us also” (2 Cor 6:11-13).
Only when we learn to open our hearts to others can we hope for a similar response from them.
This, to my mind, is one of the “secrets” of serving people and imitating Jesus.
UPDATE: I’ve done a translation of the “10 Guiding Principles” for those who are interested.