“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life! And who is equal to such a task?” — 2 Cor 2:15-16
The consciousness that others trust us–is one of the strongest possible motives to faithfulness. We dare not fail, when we feel the pressure of other lives upon us; for if we faint, or falter, or prove untrue–we shall draw them down with us. When a man has lived in such a way as to win the confidence and become the guide of others–he bears a responsibility which he can meet only by unalterable fidelity. Every word of his is believed and rested upon. What if he speaks an untrue word, a word which misrepresents the divine teaching!
His example, too, is of infinite importance. Others believe in him so unquestionably, that anything they know him to do–they will regard as right and will feel at liberty to do themselves. But what if it is not right?
It is a weighty burden which a man bears–who has become trusted teacher, guide, and friend of others. If he is not faithful to his sacred obligation, he misrepresents Christ, and hurts the lives that lean upon him. To know that one stands for God to certain human souls, and is set to do God’s work, to be the very hand of God to lead, or hold up, or lift up struggling, fainting souls–is enough to crush the strongest, bravest heart, if God is not real to it in his love, power, and presence.