Today we are reading from 1 Corinthians 4: 6-7:
6 I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, “Nothing beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?
Today in the greater section we read (4:1-13), we actually see Paul start talking the people to task, a little bit. He’s written about the divisions and how these human things about preference aren’t important in the big picture. And today Paul points out the high calling given to the Apostles, as well as given to all Christians.
In the last few chapters, Paul was telling the people that was wrong to have divisions based off things like who their favorite preacher was. Today Paul is telling the people (something he will continue in this letter) that it is wrong to have divisions based off any gift or ability or leadership that God has given you.
If you received this gift if it was given to you by God, then why should you boast about it? You didn’t earn it, it wasn’t something you did, it was something that God gave you.
We boast not in the gift, we boast not in ourselves, but if we are to boast, we are to boast in the God who has given us our gift. I think that’s a huge reminder for us today. If we are not careful can begin to think that we are superior to someone else because of a gift, not that we have earned or worked towards, but a gift that we have been given.
We should be thankful for the gift. We should use the gift. We should praise God for the gift. But we should remember that the gift was God’s to give us. And even if we have worked at it and developed it, the gift was that, a gift.
So, let us not think any gift we have today makes us better than someone else. But let us remember that every gift we (and others) have points to the goodness of God. And let us boast in God’s goodness.
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