“So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 ESV
The church in Corinth were divided by their admiration to the messengers. “I am of Paul”, “I am of Apollos”, “I am of Cephas”… They saw the glory and beauty, not in the essence of the message itself (the Word of God), but in those who were used by God to deliver the message to the church.
I am sure they were great messengers (probably the best we would ever known) but the people start to boast in them, not in the Lord.
- Paul, the man who lead the faith in Christ to outside the Jewish people. Who suffered for it so the message of the gospel would reach out to us today. The writer of most of the New Testament.
- Apollo, a very intellectual man who spoke with eloquence with his theology that was refined by Aquila and Priscilla.
- Cephas (Peter), the one who walked with Jesus, ate with him, heard him, saw him, defended him, denied him in his time on earth.
A few chapter before in 1 Corinthians 1:31, Pauls says:
“so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” 1 Corinthians 1:31 ESV
Because of the internet, we have access to much more content them ever before. And that is great, because we can now listen to the messages of so many great preacher of our times.
But there is a catch in that. Today we easily tempted to compare ourselves, our ministries, our churches, our pastors (…), to those who seems more competent, stronger, successful, gifted. The churches with more growth, the worship teams with better musicians, the great teachers, the awesome pastors…
I have a lot of pastors who I admire so I like to listen to their messages. Some of them I know personally, other because of social media. But sometimes I get tempted to wanting to be like them, to preach like them, to grow my ministry like theirs.
The Bible is telling me to “don’t do it!”. And gives a simple but deep explanation why:
“So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 1 Corinthians 3:21 ESV
All things are mine, because I am Christ’s. I belong to him.
Today Jesus reminds me to don’t boast in them. But in Him because I am His. So, I need to remember to let go of my feelings of insecurity and insignificance, and let Jesus build up in me His character in me.
Lord, forgive me when I look to men instead of looking to you. Forgive me the times where I boast into the messenger instead of the message. Thank you for speaking to me. Help me to be more like Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray.