1 Corinthians_3

Scripture  1 Corinthians 3:18   Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

Observation-What does it say?  The city of Corinth was an important city to the ancient trade routes.  And, therefore, it had a thriving commerce and a cultural importance.  It was a place frequented by the social elite and there was a presence from multiple nationalities: Greeks, Asians, Egyptians, Syrians and Jews.  It was also a place that had a great wealth and transitory population, Corinth had a reputation for luxury, and uninhibited pleasures.  There was a temple of Aphrodite in the city, with thousands of temple prostitutes, adding to the reputation of the cities excess.  

All of this knowledge, culture and wealth created a feeling of superiority amongst the citizens of Corinth, which was apparently creeping into the members of the church.  Paul calls them out for their judgmental and argumentative attitude. God’s plan for salvation, through Christ’s death on the cross, is foolishness to the world.  In God’s body, there is no place for pride or looking down on another.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  Some of my most embarrassing moments came when I felt like someone was acting like they were better than me.  Especially when I was younger, if I felt someone was regarding me as less than them, I would make it my mission to prove that I was superior.  This sometimes ended in me lashing out and storming off like a toddler having a temper tantrum. This happened a lot with my brother, who is a highly intelligent individual.  More than once, if my brother proved that he was smarter than me in an area, I would use some type of brut force against him, proving his point further and landing me in trouble.

Luckily, God isn’t concerned with who is “better” and he doesn’t choose people based on their accolades.  God made us all as individuals, with an individual purpose.  God concerns himself more with the state of our heart, and our willingness to be used by him in what ever capacity he has for us.  Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 “ In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”

Life Application  Jesus, help me to let go of my pride.  Help me to forget the part of me that wants to prove that I am better, or somehow more worthy of respect than those around me.  You are the ultimate example of laying down yourself, taking on the form of man in order to save us from our brokenness.  Help me to dress myself as a servant, and look for ways to give your love to those around me. 

-Tyler Galloway