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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Gamaliel's Integrity

 "If this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5: 38-39

Gamaliel, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, warned his compatriots not to disparage the disciples of Jesus unless they were willing to risk their own commitment to the Torah. Gamaliel had a wisdom from which we could all profit. Like Jesus, he insisted that we know others by their fruits, not by their level of insight or the sophistication of their education.

The lesson continues, especially for those ministering in the developing world. Too often those of us from the so called developed world make impossible demands on people wanting to preach the gospel as ministers. Forcing folks from Senegal, for instance, to study western philosophy for two years before entering theological studies in preparation for priestly ordination, seems an exercise in overkill and might prevent future priests (to say nothing of lay ministers!) from studying the philosophies implicit in their own cultures.

Gamaliel and Jesus are clear. Judge people by the quality of their faith life. Do not risk laying heavy burdens upon them without doing a thing to help.

Today, listen to someone whose life you admire for its integrity.

What fruits of Gospel living most move you to transformation?

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