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Living Life

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  • January 2018
2018. 1. 11 | Human Judgments and Boasts (1 Corinthians 4:1~8)         Speakers Jae Ryun Chung

1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.
4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings -- and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you!

 

 

Reflection

Recognizing the Judge (4:1–5)

The Corinthian believers have been forming factions and fighting with one another about their allegiance to one leader over another. They boast about their leaders and judge the others. Paul, however, argues that Apollos, the other apostles, and he are all simply servants of Christ who have been entrusted with the mysteries of God. It is inappropriate, therefore, for other people to judge these leaders whom God has chosen. Paul says that he does not even judge himself! When we face judgment from others, we must remember that human opinion, including our own opinion of ourselves, is of little significance. God’s servants know who the true Judge is and focus on living faithfully before the One to whom they will ultimately answer.

 

How are you affected by the praise or criticism of others or even your own self-criticism? Ask the Lord to help you care more about His opinion than anyone else’s.

 

Recognizing the Giver (4:6–8)

While there is nothing wrong with having respect for a certain leader, the Corinthian believers have allowed their leaders to become a source of pride. There is jealousy and quarreling as those with different allegiances to different leaders vie against one another, and these attitudes are dividing the church. Paul exhorts the Corinthians to set aside their sense of superiority and reminds them that everything they have, including the spiritual blessings gained from influential leaders, are from God. We have no grounds for being puffed-up when we realize that everything we possess is a gift received from God. As we recognize the ultimate Giver, humble gratitude is the only appropriate response.

 

What makes you feel superior to others? Consider all of the grace that God has poured into your life and express gratitude to the Giver of all good gifts.

 

A letter to God 

Father, I am often too concerned with the judgment of others and act as though I have earned every good thing in my life. But You are the true Judge and the source of every good gift. Help me to live in faithfulness and humility before You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.