Monday, August 8, 2016

How We can Build a Quality Life in Christ

1 Corinthians 3:10-12 (GNT): Building a Quality Life

Using the gift that God gave me, I [Paul] did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each of you must be careful how you build. For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid. Some will use gold or silver or precious stones in building on the foundation; others will use wood or grass or straw.

In writing to an arrogant, sometimes wayward group of Corinthian Christians, Paul reminds them of their Christian duty with a familiar first-century Greek metaphor. Paul argues that they are to build up their lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ. What they build and how they build it, however, is of their free will. They can choose quality materials, “gold or silver or precious stones,” or shoddy materials, “wood or grass or straw.” The former is what Paul says is pleasing to God.

Paul's message, however figurative it may be, applies to us today, too.  We are not stonemasons, but we are the Body of Christ trying our best to imitate the love of Jesus in a sometimes-difficult-to-love world. And what Paul says to this first-century Greek audience, God intentionally says to us. We are all called to faithfully live out our Christian lives the best we can in the situations we are given.

Building metaphorically represents Christian living. Although we are not saved by anything we do, for it is Christ’s atonement and our faith in him that saves us, we are called to realize our faith through living lives of love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion. We are Paul’s metaphoric builders, and it is our choice whether we are going to build a world of love or a world of mediocrity.

I pray that we all choose to build up our lives, and the lives of those we touch, with love, generosity, patience, mercy, and kindness.

May the peace and love of Christ be with you all.