1 Corinthians 4:14-21
14 I am not writing this to shame you. You are my dear children, and I want to warn you. 15 Suppose you had 10,000 believers in Christ watching over you. You still wouldn’t have many fathers. I became your father by serving Christ Jesus and telling you the good news. 16 So I’m asking you to follow my example. 17 That’s the reason I have sent Timothy to you. He is like a son to me, and I love him. He is faithful in serving the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in serving Christ Jesus. And that agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Some of you have become proud. You act as if I weren’t coming to you. 19 But I will come very soon, if that’s what the Lord wants. Then I will find out how those proud people are talking. I will also find out what power they have. 20 The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk. It is a matter of power. 21 Which do you want? Should I come to you to correct and punish you? Or should I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
Whether we are aware of it or not, all of us imitate someone, or more accurately, we will imitate a series of different people over the course of our lives. Most of us start out imitating our parents and then later we will choose other role models that come along in life.
It’s important who you choose to imitate, and here we read the Apostle Paul urging the Corinthian church to imitate him. It’s a fairly bold statement to ask someone to imitate you! It made me ask myself the question, who am I imitating, and who is potentially imitating me?
Towards the end of this passage, Paul makes the statement “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power”. To me, this indicates that the people that I am imitating, should be people who do not merely “talk the talk” but also live a life of demonstrating the power of God’s Spirit at work through them.
Now there’s a challenge – may I too, be a person of power, not just talk!
Written by Shelley Witt