I don't know if there's a child in the world who hasn't said to their parents at least once in the process of growing up, "But everyone else is..." Even in adulthood, this desire to be the same as those around us pervades our lives—from fashion trends to food fads to the music we listen to and the shows we watch, popular culture shapes our lives.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul was writing to a group of believers who were allowing themselves to be shaped by the culture of the day instead of the culture of the Kingdom of God. They had elevated man's wisdom above God's, and consequently, pride had crept in creating disputes and disunity between them—and rather than pursuing holiness, they had embraced sexually permissive lifestyles, forgetting that their bodies were sacred temples of God Himself.
Paul has to remind them that even God's foolishness is wiser than man's greatest wisdom (1:25); entreating them to imitate his own way of life in Christ which he tells them agrees with everything he teaches (4:17). In other words, Paul didn't teach one thing and do another.
Theology—what we believe—and how we live are meant to line up. Paul called the Corinthians back to what ‘is written’; back to the timeless and superior wisdom of God, reminding them that no matter what they had been, they were now washed clean by Jesus and filled with the Spirit of God. As temples of the Holy Spirit, they were called to align their lives with the culture of the Kingdom—to bless when cursed; to endure when persecuted; to answer kindly when slandered; to honour God with their bodies.
And so are we.
The way of the Kingdom, the message of the cross, will not make sense to the world—sometimes, if we're really honest, it may not fully make sense even to us. But as we order our lives according to God’s wisdom, submitting to His authority, we make room for His power. Surrender gives way to resurrection and new life.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18
Where do you need to allow your life to be reshaped by the wisdom of God today?
Weekly nuggets of inspiration, Monday Musings are short Scripture-based thoughts to encourage you to draw close to God and pursue His purposes throughout the week. Subscribe to get them direct to your inbox here.