“Make no mistake about this: if there is anyone among you who fancies himself wise – wise,
I mean, by the standards of this passing age – he must become a fool to gain true wisdom”.
1 Cor 3:18 NEB
Most of us admire someone with superior knowledge, wisdom or insight. We envy those whose perceptions are so sharp that they “know what’s going on” and have the courage to “tell it like it is”. And we hold some commentators or analysts in high esteem because they show us aspects of reality that we slower persons haven’t previously picked up.
A battle royal was waging in the church at Corinth. The factions that had formed in allegiance to Paul, Peter and Apollos were comparing and contrasting their heroes. But the valuations they were applying to these leaders were misleading everyone and causing even more upheaval. They were bragging and boasting, using the ideas and standards of the world and not the criteria of Christ. This one was a fine speaker. That one knew his Old Testament. The other one was more intellectually gifted and could quote philosophers and authors off the cuff. And someone was admired because he had a great sense of humour. So the evaluations were made – but they were made according to worldly wisdom and human standards. And those making them were crowing over the other groups, thinking that they and the people they were supporting were superior to the others.
Think very carefully about how you perceive the leaders in your fellowship. It is one thing to find someone to be pleasant, attractive or appealing. It is another thing to grow in Christ under their leadership and teaching. And be careful about those who regard themselves as superior to others.
Lord, help me to appreciate true spiritual depth in others.
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