HOW DO YOU TREAT THOSE WHO BROUGHT YOU TO CHRIST?
1 Corinthians 4:9-13
1Co 4:9 Because I think that God has displayed us – the missionaries — last, as if sentenced to death, because we have become a theatrical show to the world, and to angels, and to human beings.
1Co 4:10 We are stupid for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are highly esteemed, but we are dishonoured.
1Co 4:11 To this hour just now we are hungering and thirsting, we are being poorly clothed and battered and homeless,
1Co 4:12 and we are labouring, working with our own hands. When insulted, we bless; when persecuted, we bear with it;
1Co 4:13 when being slandered, we keep encouraging. We have become like rubbish of the world, the wiping rag of all things – up to this point.
Paul is ranting here – and for good reason. Paul and his fellow missionaries are responsible for planting churches all over the empire. But they are now being treated like a wiping rag. They were useful for a time, but now the Corinthians want to throw them away. The churches now feel they are way past the need for their ministry, and are much more mature in their thinking than the ones responsible for bringing them to the faith. What is the cause of this disrespect? The Corinthians have been exposed to different teachings, and they now want to follow new leaders.
A truly wise person can learn new things without disrespecting her old teachers.
LORD, make us people who are thankful for all who minister among us, and always respectful of those who brought us to you.