This week’s passage, 1 Corinthians 16:1-12, seems to be a light one in substance. Paul, the author of the Corinthian letter has been talking about some pretty heavy stuff over the course of his letter. As he is coming to an end of his letter he has just a few more things to address. But just because this stuff seems of less importance, or things we just gloss over, does not mean it has little value.
I would like to focus on verse 10: “If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am.”
The church at Corinth has been a divided group from the start. Some follow Paul, others Apollos, some Cephas (or Peter) and others say they follow Christ (Chapter 1, verse 12). How many times have we seen that human beings choose to support particular group or person and then say that they don’t like others just because they are different? Paul makes the point that Timothy, his young apprentice, is working for Christ just as he is.
This was always an encouraging thought to me as a young believer. My grandfather was a pastor for many years. My father has been a pastor and in the ministry for a long time. For a long while I thought I had to live up to the expectations that others had of me based off of who my grandfather and father were. However, I came to a realization that I don’t have to live up to others expectations of me. Just as Paul states about Timothy, they (Timothy and Paul) are all preaching the same message so it should be heard and respected. The way it is taught or stated may be different, but the basics of “Christ crucified” are all that matters. The only expectations that I need to worry about are those of God. What does He expect of me?
I think that Paul wants to make sure that the church at Corinth does not discount what Timothy has to offer because he is too young or different than Paul. Paul knows that Timothy has a lot to offer and is willing to lay everything down for the sake of the gospel. To him that is all that matters.
Be united. Love one another. Be open to what others have to offer even if it may be new to you or different than what you are used to.
So my question to you is are you accepting of what others have to offer even though it may be different than what you are used to? How can we open ourselves to new opinions, thoughts or ideas?