Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:16 based on the LCMS Daily Lectionary for August 18
Meditation: Much of the controversies in the Corinthian church center around this theme. Into these conflicts, Paul says, “I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teaching, just as I passed them on to you” (11:2). In the course of this letter, Paul does not find much for which to praise them, so this is notable.
Paul constantly reminds them and us: Be attentive to others around you! He says, “Do not cause anyone to stumble… even as I try to please everybody in every way” (10:32-33). He gives us the “do not” here before giving us the “why?” As Christians, we always need to be considerate of other Christians with differing views, esp. on secondary issues, such as eating meat sacrificed to idols (10:23-31).
Paul continues to the why. He shares, “For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved” (10:33). His concern is not about getting his way or expressing his rights, but a higher purpose: life. He’s more concerned about their eternal existence than about getting his own way.
This can be difficult! Are we willing to love God and others like this? Are we willing to put others before ourselves? I’ve been guilty, and sometimes still am, of being more focused upon me, than we. Yet, understanding the why of it helps me to obey Paul’s instructions better. We have to keep this bigger picture in mind.
Paul ends with an important statement, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (11:1). Too often, I have underestimated the influence of examples and mentors in my life, but I hope that we can identify some godly people in our lives whose example we can follow. Also, I hope that we can be that godly, humble example to others as well.
Meditate on God’s Word. Draw close to God each day. Listen to His Word for you.
Living the Word Today seeks to provide brief devotional thoughts for daily living from a passage of Scripture. It is not meant to be academic exegesis, but a humble attempt to listen to God’s voice through His written Word.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.