I finished 1 Corinthians a couple of days ago and here are my three points:
- 4.3-4: “And it matters very little to me how I am evaluated by you or by any human court; in fact, I don’t even evaluate myself…The One who is evaluating me is the Lord.” What an attractive attitude. I really like the word “evaluate” here. From an early age I’ve always been interested in “improving myself”, whether in a physical, mental or skill set. I played a lot of video games where you “level up” characters and make them stronger in some way. And I think this carried into my attitude towards life – probably not the only factor. Anyway, “evaluate” makes me think of areas for improvement. “How can I get better”. Usually I ask other people this or I sit down with a notebook and ask it of myself. There’s probably a place for this, but there is definitely a danger in it too! If I get caught up in my own opinion of where I’m at, or other’s, I’ll be tempted to forget God’s. Therefore maybe next time I want an evaluation I should ask God and listen to His Word!
- Very very close to the first point, 4.15: “For even if you have ten thousand trainers in connection with the Messiah, you do not have many fathers”. Being linked with the Navigators this aligns strongly with their value of Spiritual generations. But I’m still challenged by it. The role of a trainer is very different from the role of a father. To spend some time thinking about these differences would be helpful! Time-intensity: A Father should be present way more than a trainer, when I had guitar lessons growing up, it was an hour a week. But my father was living in the same house as me. Unconditional love: I was loved and accepted based on being a father’s son. However, a trainer focuses on accomplishment. I’m sure there’s more and I’d like to think more about these differences, especially how it changes the way I relate to the student group. How can I focus on becoming more of a father instead of only a trainer!
- 14:26: “Whenever you come together, let everyone be ready with a psalm or a teaching or a revelation, or ready to use his gift of tongues or give an interpretation; but let everything be for edification”. I LOVE THIS! Come to church, prepared, with something to contribute. Too often Church is perceived as a receiving environment, what can I get out. Here Paul is saying, “no, bring your gift, prepare something to offer, have something ready so that you can build someone else up”. So often, because of sin and pride in my life, I think I come to church with the opposite mindset, maybe not consciously, but asking “where can I find fault?” (I probably convince myself that the motive is “where can I find room for improvement?”). Either way, it’s not “who can I build up? Who can I strengthen? Who can I encourage? What can I offer?” Let us come to Church expectant and longing to help build others up!