Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 4.
How should we regard great teachers and workers in God’s kingdom like Paul and Apollos? As servants and stewards, not as owners and masters. As we read yesterday, every bit of success they had came because God had provided it. Paul explains he was only using himself and Apollos as examples in order to teach the Corinthians (and us) something. Here is the key question: “What do you have that you did not receive?” Whatever talent, ability, resource, and opportunity we each have is a gift from God. Any abilities we have to teach, speak, write, serve, lead, exhort, encourage, support, give, share, show mercy are gifts from God. They do not say a single thing about how awesome we are. They say how awesome God is. We, like Paul and Apollos, are servants and, therefore, stewards of God’s gifts. Stewards are not required to have better gifts than other stewards, but to be faithful with the gifts the Master has given them. Did you get that? It isn’t a competition. We are not in a race with each other. We cannot prove we are better than anyone else because we are all in the same boat. We are all simply disciples given various gifts by God as He has chosen. Therefore, our goal is not to win. Our goal is not to beat each other. Our goal is to be faithful stewards of whatever talents, abilities, resources, and opportunities God has given us. What gifts has God given you? What is the best way for you to pursue faithfulness in those today?
Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 5.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, please learn this early. It’s okay to compete in sports. It’s great to win games. But don’t get into the discipleship race. Don’t get into spiritual competition. Sadly, far too many Christians think they are only good enough if they can somehow prove they are spiritually superior to someone else. It just doesn’t work like that. If someone has a spiritual ability, opportunity, or resource you don’t have, it doesn’t mean they are better than you. It merely means God has given them a different gift from you. In like manner, if you have some spiritual ability, opportunity, or resource others don’t, it doesn’t mean you are better than them. It simply means God has given you a different gift from them. The question is not at all how you compare to others. The question is how are you using what God has given you. That is the heart of being a good steward. So, how are you using what God has given you today?