I Corinthians 1-4
I know I have expressed my concern over the way we are raising our children to look out for themselves, to consider themselves powerful and capable and good, that they deserve whatever they want at any cost to others. We are reaping the consequences for this foolishness, aren’t we?
Paul says in 4:1 that people should regard us as servants of Christ. Then he goes on to describe what that looks like in his own life. Hold on to your hats:
For it seems that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. (4:9-13) (emphasis mine)
And he’s ok with that!
Now get ready for the kicker:
Therefore, I urge you to imitate me. (verse 16)
Now I know this flies in the face of modern philosophy. The so called child experts and mental health counselors are probably having heart attacks about now. And millennials everywhere are running to their safe places. But hear me when I say what the child experts and mental health counselors teach IS NOT WORKING!
They’ll tell you it’s not their philosophy that is failing, it’s society. It’s intolerance. It’s capitalism. It’s President Trump.
But the real problem is that they have rejected what God says, and made up their own bible. I know without a doubt that what Paul says here in I Corinthians is the answer to all of society’s problems, school shootings, discrimination, abortion, child abuse whatever. We need to think of others more highly than ourselves.
I will also tell you that’s impossible. We are selfish, ego-driven by nature. So before you try to muster up the ability to take a back seat, you need to give your life to Jesus. You need the strength that comes from having the Holy Spirit within you to turn the other cheek, to love your enemies and do good to those who mistreat you, to be the refuse of the world.
The answer to life’s problems is not what we think about ourselves. The answer is Jesus.