The Corinthian church was not a shining example of Christian conduct. How many times have you heard comments made about the carnal Christians in Corinth? Nobody wants to be likened to the Corinthians; rather, we point our fingers at them, and the things that they did, or didn’t do, allowed, or didn’t allow, and think, “Hmph—how could they be so proud, so carnal, so foolish? It’s a good thing we’re not like them…let’s hope we’re never like them!”
Okay, maybe in some ways you’re not. Maybe you’ve never been that “man who has his father’s wife” (1 Cor. 5:1), or the church who looked the other way at the one who did.
Maybe you’re not like them at all. I can’t really speak on your behalf. But I can speak on my own. And I’m more like the Corinthians sometimes that I want to admit. Sometimes I am terribly proud, selfish, foolish, judgmental, not ready for the next serving of spiritual meat God’s wanting to give me, because it’s a little harder to swallow than I’m apparently ready for.
And yet, I’m encouraged. Why, do you ask?
Because, despite their behavior, Paul addresses the Corinthians as “…the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Cor. 1:2). Despite their carnality, they were children of God, chosen, called, cleansed. And it was on that basis they were accepted by Him, not by their behavior. It was for that reason that they were even receiving this rebuke from Paul; they were children of God, and not acting like it. And thankfully, they seemed to make some changes for the good by the time Paul writes his second epistle to them.
I’m encouraged because if true for the Corinthians, then true for me, too. Sometimes I act like anything but a daughter of the King of the Universe, but that is what I am, and nothing I can do can change that. And being called such when I look like everything but that overwhelms me with a sense of God’s undeserved love for me, and inspires me to start reflecting His glory like I’m meant to.
So here’s to swallowing God’s rebuke, given to me in His Word, given to me in love. Here’s to prepping my palate for the next serving of spiritual meat, and here’s to hoping that a couple years down the road, I’ll be a brighter, more beautiful reflection of His beauty than I am now.