“No one, then, should boast about what human beings can do”.
1 Cor 3:21 GNB
The modern world makes idols and heroes of people with outstanding achievements. The media have to find interesting subjects and people to fill their space and their time and so focus repeatedly on celebrities, achievers and powerful people. This leads to some people who want to be famous seeking out the media in order to get themselves “mentioned in dispatches”. Most people love publicity and some crave it! An opportunity to boast – in a subtle way, of course – is eagerly seized when the media afford the space or time.
The Christians in Corinth had been dazzled by the comparative strengths of Paul, Peter and Apollos. Each had exercised powerful ministries and left their mark. But it was Christ the people should have seen, not the human leaders. And no doubt the leaders concerned did have impressive skills and gifts. But the people were led astray and, by focusing on them instead of on Christ it caused untold trouble. Paul had to go to great lengths to stamp it out.
Christian believers today have the same temptation. It is all too easy for a priest or pastor to create the impression that he (or she) is the centre of attention and to seek praise and glory. This, of course, should be given to God, not to his servants. So beware of the subtle pride that creeps into numerous sermons that use auto- biographical incidents of the preacher’s life and show him up to be someone great! Maybe a gentle word would not be out of place from a believer to put it right – spoken in love. Always keep your own focus – and other people’s – on Christ.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, keep me from boasting, and from believing others’ boasts.
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