“We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things …”. (II Corinthians 8:22)
We don’t know who this unnamed “brother” is (:18 similarly mentions a “brother” whose fame has spread in the churches; perhaps the same one?) but we do know a couple of important things about him from what Paul writes here:
— Paul & the others had “often tested” him — in other words, they had probably given him several ministry assignments which had tested his faithfulness and dependability.
— And significantly, when this brother was tested, he was “found diligent.” He did what they asked him. He was found trustworthy in the assignments he had been given so they entrusted him with more. He was “tested and found diligent.”
This should cause each of us to ask ourselves the question: “Could this kind of statement be written of ME?” Each of us is “tested”, just like this unnamed brother was, by the assignments that God, through His ministers and ministry leaders, entrusts to us. What has been your response when you have been thus tested? Would your ministry leaders say of you, like Paul did of this brother, that you were “found diligent”?
When you have been given a task in minisry, have you done what was asked? Did you finish your assignment — or did you start well and then leave it undone? Were you as serious and diligent in your work for the ministry as you would have been at a place of secular employment, or at a hobby that you enjoy? Perhaps you are in the midst of an assignment even now, and circumstances are “testing” your commitment and ability to complete it. What will be written of you? Will history, your ministry leaders — and most importantly, your Lord, record of you, that you were “tested and found diligent”?