I Corinthians 1: 26-31
I Corinthians 1: 26-31
We will ask after reading these verses ‘why did Paul write like that? What happened in the Corinthians’ congregation? If we look at the preceding verses we notice that the congregation is divided. Some members of the Corinthians congregation think that they are better than others, for they became Christian through Paul, some others because of Apollos, and each person thinks that he/she is a better qualified Christian than the other. So Paul says:’ weren’t you all baptized in the name of Christ, and so all of you belong to Christ. You do not belong to Paul, Apollos or other missionaries! No one is better than the other!’
He continues by saying: Let’s remember your situation when God called you, not many of you were wise, powerful or noble by human standards, but God did call you! God chose what is foolish by human standards to shame the wise; God chose what is weak by human standards to shame the strong. So God has His own standards, His own criteria. Don’t ever think that if you think that you were chosen or called by God because of what you are “something or someone special” No, and No!! There is no human criteria that can be applied to God! God chose you not because of you, but because of He wanted to choose you! You don’t contribute at all to your calling.
Nobody in the Corinthian congregation contributed anything at all to his or her calling; therefore no one has a right to boast! And everyone present here in this congregation doesn’t contribute at all to his/her calling. So don’t ever say that you are a better or more qualified Christian than others. Not only the Corinthians congregation is so polluted by human standards, all Christians in the world have been polluted already! We analyze ourselves, our family, our friends, society, and country according to human standards. No wonder the result is chaos, war, hatred, enmity, corruption, destruction in the family and of the environment, nepotism, sickness, killing, frustration, alcoholism, drug addiction, and what ever else you want to add.
How can we use and apply human standards in our life and family when we know that the human self is the only one of God’s creation who has the most tendencies not to obey God. Human standards are what divide us, all human beings. There is rich and there is poor, there is good and there is bad, there is pretty and there is ugly; there is clean and there is dirty. Though all criteria are relative, but those criteria divide us, make us feel bad, to feel less, to be arrogant by claiming that I am better than the next person; richer; clever; prettier, more capable !Have we ever felt this kind of feeling?
We are so proud of ourselves because we think that we are successful men or women by having a degree, car, a good house, our children get a good education by studying at the best school in Medan (best by human standards!) we are proud of ourselves because we think and feel that we already fulfill all human requirements to be successful!
So we also apply these criteria to others, and analyze others by our own criteria, so we consider some one who has no degree, no car, no house, whose children studies at public school, has failed to achieve the human standards of success! Therefore no wonder we always look up to the rich ones, to the ones who hold the highest degree in education, to the powerful people, and we look down on the people who aren’t rich, well educated or powerful! Answer me honestly, could you treat them equally, if the Governor of north Sumatra and a beggar come to your house!
In Christ there is no rich, no poor, no pretty, no ugly, no better Christian and less qualified Christian, no Chinese, no Tobanese, Karonese, no white, no brown, no black, no men, no women, no Methodist church, no Karo church, Toba church, all are the same, belong to Christ! This is the point! God doesn’t apply human criteria, if God Did, not one of us could fulfill His standards, because God’s standard is love! Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are, God loves you with no conditions attached! Brothers and sisters in Christ, have you ever felt so tired, so frustrated, so worried in trying to achieve human standards. We work so hard, spend all of our energy and time to fulfill human dreams to have a house at villa Polonia, Taman setia budi, what ever you think the most expensive area in Medan is ; to have a BMW or Mercedes,Or Jaguar or Ferrari whatever you think the most expensive car is in Medan; to work so hard and use all your political contacts and pull strings be mayor, governor, director or manager of a company.
Have you ever realized that when you try and work at something beyond your capacity you are destroying yourself and your family! You become so distanced from yourself, your family and your environment! Sometimes you don’t know yourself anymore! All these human standards already occupy your mind, all yourself! You think that before achieving all that humans’ value you have no status in your family or society! We worry too much about not to having status in our family and society than through God. We just use God to help us to achieve all that status, all the things that God doesn’t care about! For how long and how much have we been hurting God! When you have already achieved what you dream, are you satisfied with your achievement? Are you happy with your achievement; is your family happy with your achievement? What is your situation within yourself and in your family When you achieve your dream? Remember that the Bible warns us that there is a tendency in human being not to be satisfied, to be greedy, to want more and more, and to have more and more, humans do not like the words: limit, stop, enough.
Paul says! By human standards you are not qualified, but Christ chose you! Christ isn’t interested in all our standards! I don’t know what you did to close the year of 2000 and to open the year of 2001. I feel so sad if all that you did were the things that fulfill the human standards: such as spending lots of money on parties, hotels, or other things that are just for pleasure but have no meaning for yourself and your family! Let us turn round 180 degrees in the year of 2001 by using and trying to achieve God’s standard that is love. So for the year of 2001 let us live in Christ > that is to love everybody! To appreciate everybody.
Let us not using the human standards that have divided us up in our lives anymore! Let us consider that everyone is equal to us, not judging them based on who and what he or she is! Let us go to the one who feels so bad because we never treated them as a human being, like we treat ourselves, let us use this year, the year of 2001 as the year of reconciliation with all the people we have been hurting because of the human standards that we have applied that are so deeply embedded in our way of living. Let us live in Christ: that is to apply Christ’s standard as the foundation of our way of life in the year of 2001. The result will be a family, a community, a congregation where everybody helps each other, supports each other, prays for each other, there is no hatred, no jealousy, no gossip, quarrelling, no selfishness, slander, conceit and disorder!
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