On Your Watch (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)

The urologist stormed into our laboratory. “Your lab lost my patient’s biopsies!”

It was a serious issue. After an exhaustive investigation, it was concluded that the courier who picked up the specimen misplaced it. While an extremely rare occurrence, It could have happened to any laboratory but it occurred after the new owner took over our laboratory a few months earlier. The urologist, aware of the recent change in ownership, demanded to speak to the new owner and medical director. While the policies and procedures were written by the previous owners, this unfortunate incident was being blamed on the current leadership. It happened on their watch.

At times, we may get blamed for things that were caused by events not under our control. Politicians are fond of pointing this out when they take office, particularly with financial and economic news. If there is bad news concerning the economy, blame is quickly shifted to their predecessor. Conversely, if there is good news, they are quick to take credit, even if it is far too early for their policies to have made an impact. However, many pundits will point out that whatever happens during a politician’s term is considered on their watch. They are responsible, whether it is accolades or criticism. 

During the early years of the Church, there was an issue that was dividing it. Personality cults centered around some of the leaders were growing and threatened to become divisive. In the following verses, Paul described the problem.

When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 1 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NLT)

How refreshing it is to read how the Apostle Paul directly addressed the issue and acknowledged the work of others. There was no competition, no assigning blame, and no false claims of success. 

…We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 

1 Corinthians 3:5-7 (NLT)

The world tells us that if it happens on your watch, you are responsible or we may try to falsely claim credit for another’s work. In God’s Kingdom, everyone is an equal co-worker. We are on His watch!

Praise God!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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