1 Corinthians teaches me the following:
1. It shows me that I need to make Jesus my focus.
2. It reveals that my identity must be based on the work of Christ in my life.
3. It points out that keeping my place in relationships builds stronger and richer connections.
4. It prompts me to make my choices based on love.
5. It validates my place in the Body of Christ.
6. It encourages my freedom of individuality.
The Corinthian church got side tracked with people focus. They compared everything from church leaders to personal consecrations and relationships to spiritual gifts. If I’m not careful, my eyes are drawn to the same, and like the Corinthians, I can begin to get my worth from the wrong things and view others through a dirty lens of judgement. I can tether my emotions to people rather than yoking my heart to God’s truth. Led astray by conceit, I can become unholy proud of people I respect and critical of those different than me. With my eyes still off Jesus and my worth connected to things other than Him, I can negotiate my consecrations based on other people’s personal sacrifices…or lack thereof.
Like Corinthian women seeking spiritual guidance without consulting their more knowledgeable husbands, I can forget the resource I have in my mate. Many times, have I bypassed my husband’s leadership in favor of my own counsel, not seeking his wisdom or following through on his advice. For the Corinthian women, this was shameful…a poor reflection of their relationship with their life partner. For me, it’s also a shame, a missed opportunity to connect, grow, and unify and a missed opportunity to elevate the one who is my headship.
Marriage isn’t the only relationship Corinthians says can become twisted—and it’s not the only relationship that can get out of sorts for me. How often I have ridden the pendulum between inferiority and superiority as I compared myself to fellow members of the Body. But Jesus doesn’t call me to this confusion. Instead of expectation of uniform conformity to a list of identical dictates, personal service is my requirement. God whispers for me to serve Him from whatever station in life I am in. Married or single. Owner or servant. Rich or poor. Dynamic or ordinary. Regardless of setbacks, set-ups, social status, circumstances, or situation, I qualify for all the blessings of God. I am who He says I am, and I have what He says is mine because of Him, not my control of all externalities.
Regardless of my present condition, when I take my focus off of others and put it on Jesus, my best me begins to emerge. Love blossoms in my heart, and I start finding my worth in Him. I begin to see that I have spiritual authority because I have the family name. I see that I’m an inheritor of God’s promises because I’m His child. I understand that my life has merit because I have been bought with the priceless blood of Jesus. My current state cannot alter these truths.
As I begin to value God’s approval instead of people pleasing, I am more easily led into His will for my life, and I forgo becoming a carbon copy of someone else, someone I was never intended to be. I am less captivated by others’ haves and have nots. Just as my identity and fulfillment are based on His love for me, my attitude toward others grows from His love in me. I begin to value the relationships that I have and accept—and appreciate—the love, loyalty, and leadership that has been placed in my life. My eyes are drawn to the good, and I experience warmth and gratitude for my blessings. I permit others’ differences to flavor my world so that I am not the bland version of me that isolation and selfishness can create. My world becomes centered, secure, balanced, and colorful, and I become the best me that I can be.
Tip/Tidbit: Make Jesus your focus. Become confident of who you are in Christ. Position yourself with submission and honor in your relationships. Love others. Step out confidently to do what you can do for God. Serve God right where you are. Be the best you. Be You.