(2 Corinthians 9:1-5)
Have you ever heard the expression “belts and braces?” It refers to the process of ensuring that something is checked and then double-checked to ensure it is right.
If you look at the concept from a clothing perspective, it is like a man who is worried that his trousers might fall down. To ensure they don’t, he wears a belt AND he wears braces to hold his pants up. Are both belts and braces necessary? Probably not, but by wearing both he is making doubly certain that he will not be embarrassed if gravity takes a hold of his trousers!
In business, especially among engineers, the concept of “belts and braces” is often seen. When they want to make sure something is done correctly, or a design will work correctly and safely, they go to greater extremes than might otherwise be necessary. And in some cases this is what we want, especially to ensure something is safe.
Paul’s Belts And Braces
This section of scripture sounds to me a bit like a “belts and braces” approach by the Apostle Paul. He gave instructions about a gift and offering that the church at Corinth had promised, and now he is double checking, reminding and sending an advance party to them to ensure all is ready for when he arrives.
Paul is leaving nothing to chance with this belt and braces approach, but is ensuring what was promised would be prepared and ready when it was needed.
Did Paul doubt the readiness of the people in Corinth? No, not really. But he did not want them to be embarrassed, especially after he and others had told the church in Jerusalem how faithful and ready the church at Corinth was to offer this gift and aid.
Paul was encouraging them to be prepared, and it is a good lesson for all of us. He was not leaving the situation to chance, but was ensuring all would be done according to a plan. And we must remember too that planning is a necessary element of all the works of God. He planned the whole of the Creation from the beginning to the end and has shown us His plans in the Bible.
Was God willing to leave the unfolding of His plan to happenstance and chance? No way! God provided prophets, judges, kings and great leaders to guide the path. And then He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ to die and issue in the New Covenant so that we would have the hope of salvation. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Counsellor, teacher, guide, comforter and so much more, to ensure the plan God is executing went according to how He had determined it should.
Nothing in God’s plan was left to chance and He has used a “belt and braces” approach throughout history to ensure what was planned was on track, and stayed on track.
Belts And Braces For Us
Today, we need to take a belts and braces approach to our salvation. We are instructed not to neglect this great salvation as we walk with Christ, to do that we need to approach it so that we can learn and grow.
We have an obligation to seek out the truth and find it for ourselves. Yes, we need to listen to the words and the teachings of those in the church who have ministry in these areas, but we cannot stop there.
We must study the word, seek the truth, pray over what we learn, seek the Holy Spirit, meditate on the scriptures, and search for ourselves. We need to be immersed in the words of the Lord so that we can ascertain for ourselves what is right and wrong, good and evil.
When the Day of Judgement arrives, there will be no pastor, priest or minister to stand as advocate for us before the throne of God. It will be each of us, alone. And we will be required to give an account of what we believed and what we did in this life. It will not be enough to say you believed what pastor so and so said. You have to find out for yourself and KNOW the Lord.
If this sounds like checking, double-checking and then checking again, then you are right. Seeking the truth of the gospel and the pathway to salvation is the ultimate “Belts and Braces” approach. We need to focus all of our energy into this most crucial of endeavours, because it will mean your life.
You might also like:
Sheep In The Midst Of Wolves
Parable Of The Ten Virgins
Take Heed That No One Leads You Astray
Withdrawing From Evil
Bound For Glory
When God Gave Up
Its Up To God
Folly Of Mans Wisdom
You Cant Sit On The Fence
How To Find The Truth
Dissension In The Church
The Church Defiled
The Unleavened Truth