Backgound Photo: To The Market
1 Corinthians 7
“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” (v. 17)
At this mid-point in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he begins to answer questions they had previously sent him. This Jesus thing is relatively new to them, and as they begin to process some truths, they have questions among themselves. I get it. I feel like the more I know, the more I don’t know. That is what makes the Bible so amazing to me. What book could you read over and over and over and still continually uncover new truths, while simultaneously feeling like you understand even less than you thought?
While we don’t see the questions sent by the Corinthians, from Paul’s responses we know they are about sexual relations, vocation, marriage, singleness, separation. Questions about making life status changes to be a “better” Christian to please God more.
Paul says to remain where you are; in the place you are called. And it isn’t remaining in a sinful state or even remaining stagnant and not developing and becoming more Christ-like. It is letting God use you where you are; not changing for the sake of changing…not wanting the situation someone else has…not thinking the grass is so much greener over there. Think about it…we tend to want to change everything except what God is actually calling us to change, don’t we? Ugh.
Paul is saying where we are – our vocation, marital status, current situation – isn’t the key; it is living on mission for God. And we can do it where we are if it is a godly place.
John Piper says, “In a word, the application of Paul's principle to cultural distinctives is this: Don't fret and don't boast about your present state of cultural distinctives; they are of little importance to God compared to whether you are devoting yourself, soul and mind and body, to obeying his commandments, which are all fulfilled in this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
As new believers, we don’t need to get a new job, leave an unbelieving spouse, or get married. We can live on mission for God where we are in the moment. Our newfound faith doesn’t require a change in status, but new eyes to serve and love and disciple where we are. There is significance where we are; we need only be faithful.
May our eyes be wide open to our assignments right where we are.
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