The Acceptable Time

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10

“Ambassador for Christ.” I remember hearing that phrase growing up, usually in the context of missions and spreading the gospel. When I first read this passage, this was the phrase that caught my eye and made me select the passage to write a devotion. But as I sat down and spent some time with the text, the phrase that kept leaping out at me was “acceptable time.”

When I think of something being acceptable, I think of it as adequate or satisfactory, a far cry from the images of exotic places and important people the word ambassador stirs up in me. Paul is telling the church that now is the suitable time, the time to work together and receive the grace of God and be reconciled.

Note that the text does not say it is the perfect time. Paul goes on to talk about the need for endurance through hardships and afflictions. He mentions times of sleeplessness, distress, and hunger. But he also mentions kindness, patience, and genuine love as hallmarks of the acceptable time.

How many times have we heard ourselves say, “Now is not a good time,” or “The timing of this couldn’t be worse?” We use not having enough time as an excuse. But we also fool ourselves into thinking we have plenty of time, and that it won’t hurt to wait until later.

What time is it for you? What is it the acceptable time for you to do?

Sheryl Johnson

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