"For it seems to
me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession,
like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to
the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for
Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong!
You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and
thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We
work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are
persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to
this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the
world!" (1 Corinthians 4: 9-13)
Years ago, my Church held a large picnic in Mission Park. While there, several noticed an unidentified man standing in line for food. These curious members watched as he loaded his plate with food, stood around for a minute and then joined friends under a tree on the other side of the park. Another member and I went over to the tree and invited all four homeless young people to the feast. They agreed and we learned a great deal about the homeless.
A homeless lifestyle is the result of a number of decisions. These four claimed to be happy without the work involved in managing a home choosing to live free from the “trappings of wealth and false security”.
It is always interesting to discover the motives and decisions behind the way people live. The Apostle Paul, like Christ, did not stay at a home. Paul traveled with companions constantly. He desired to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to every person in Asia. To accomplish this goal he and his companions faced serious opposition and much ridicule. There is great resistance to the message of salvation by grace through Christ.
Paul uses sarcasm under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to break through the Corinthian arrogance. Some reject and/or reform his teaching about Jesus to please self and gain a position of power in the social group. This group did not understand Paul or his motives.
As far as I am concerned, the kids in the park needed to have a home! “My lifestyle is what I understand and what ought to be." Yes I am guilty of the same arrogance. Every person is called to a life of service in Christ but every person called may not life the same lifestyle as the others.
Arrow Epistle © 1998-2000 The Spokane Outreach Center.
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Appearing Saturday, March 15, 2003