1 Corinthians 4:1-5
4 Here is how you should think of us. We serve Christ. We are trusted with God’s secret truth. 2 Those who have been given a trust must prove that they are faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court. I don’t even judge myself. 4 I don’t feel I have done anything wrong. But that doesn’t mean I’m not guilty. The Lord judges me. 5 So don’t judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord returns. He will bring to light what is hidden in the dark. He will show the real reasons why people do what they do. At that time each person will receive praise from God.
Paul is playing to an audience of one, though there may be many in the crowd. He is sure that it is only the approval of His Lord that matters. Paul says this in a context where the Church is putting heavy emphasis on the credentials and personalities of mere men. Comparisons of who was the best travelling preacher, teacher, miracle work were rife amongst the Corinthian church, and Paul was receiving less then flattering revues from some of these church members.
As I consider Paul’s comments I am struck with how such an attitude simplifies life dramatically. Yet I also see what it means for my approval seeking tendencies. They are vain, because ultimately God is telling me, human approval means nothing.
Lord, you give me all the approval I need and way more than I deserve. I love you God, for you love me.
Written by Andrew Mellor