Paul steps aside with a bit of sarcasm for the Corinthians. Paul in effect says, “You know what, You are right. After all, you are successful in all the worldly categories; while we as church builders are struggling to survive. You must be the right living people.” Paul was not being serious! He was trying to help these people to see they were measuring with the wrong measuring tape.
Paul wanted this vibrant and impactful church to see the importance of honoring God with their lives. Just because the world was applauding their behavior, that did not make them successful in God’s ministry. In fact, Paul was trying to highlight the fact that the world hates the faith. Those that honor God are not applauded by the world; they are taunted and persecuted.
The other issue was the why. When we walk with God, we need to be acting and living like God simply because that is who we are becoming. Paul said that he was coming to Corinth soon, and that they should ask themselves how they would behave if he was on sight. If they would behave differently when Paul was present, then they are not living honest holy lives. So, Paul was sending Timothy to them to help them to check and see to whom they were truly giving their allegiance.
When I was a young man, the pastor told me that I should walk each day as if Jesus was walking beside me…BECUASE HE IS! Jesus is with us in every moment of every day. Can we look in the mirror and say with confidence that we are doing life as if Jesus was in the room with us. I admit there are days, I live like Jesus has left the building. I am not proud of that, but if I am being transparent, I do fail.
The great news is that God knew that when He chose us. We all walk in a different rhythm. There was only one Peter, one John, one Thomas, and one Paul. God used them differently, and that was OK with God. He takes us where we are, and even in our sinful and frail state, transforms us into His image, IN HIS TIME. Help me Lord to live and walk as if you are walking beside me, but also help me to be patient in Your transformation.
God Bless You
10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.
Paul’s Appeal and Warning
14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?