I'm slowly working through some of Paul's writings. Corinthians is always a fascinating journey to embark on. Like a rollercoaster. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. Frustrations and fascinations. This fledgeling church in Corinth was discovering what it meant to follow Christ in real time. No Bible existed. No Christian Bookstores. No fancy Praise & Worship music. Just some unruly pagans who discovered a Messiah who accepts them without offerings, sacrifices, or rule-keeping religion. What a blast. Grace is amazing. It takes some faith to accept this.
As we can imagine this does not come without some messy issues, some more messy than others. It also comes with the invitation to transform our worldview, God-view and self-view. The lens of life has to change. True repentance (which simply means thinking differently than you always have) has to take place. Salvation is a process of becoming.
One such an example of messiness is found in Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth, chapter four. This particular passage is especially relevant in this self-obsessed culture we're part of. It's easy, even for long-time followers of the Messiah, to fall into the popular paradigms of the times - getting caught up in the distracting discourses of the day. Social Media is built on attracting 'likes', 'shares' and 'followers'. Standing out is important. We feel the need to be accepted through this. We feel the need to gain power and control through this, and we feel the need to increase our material needs and money through living like this. But in this paper-thin reality of portraying ourselves as everybody's friend, are we truly known? Do we even know ourselves? Are our friends really our friends?
'For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn't everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what's the point of this this comparing and competing? You already have all you need. You have more access to God than you can handle...'
Imagine a world-view where there is no need to compare ourselves.
Where we don't feel the need to compete but rather empower and give.
Where we realise all we have and are are pure gifts.
Where grace and gratitude are our grounding and guiding thoughts and emotions.
Where we live with the knowledge that we truly have everything that we need.
Where we live and breathe every second knowing that we have full and immediate access to God, and that He is for us, with us and within us.
Imagine living like this today.
How would things be different tomorrow?