Isn’t it amazing how reading the Bible can be so powerful? I know I’ve read 1 Corinthians through several times. I’ve studied it pretty throughly. I’ve talked about it and participated in Bible studies about it.
Yet, today I read chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians and there it is – like a shining treasure on the pages – words that seem to soak in today as I read them – words I needed to hear for today:
1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I first came to you I didn’t use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God’s message. 2 For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. 3 I came to you in weakness, timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you. 5 I did this so that you might trust the power of God rather than human wisdom.
You see, I struggle with performance-orientation. I fight the urge to “perform” in order to win God’s love and favor. Something deep within me continuously suggests that there are things I need to be “doing” in order to be loved by God (and probably by others). My head knows this is wrong and I have to practice resisting this line of thinking. Yet often I find myself smack in the same situation of feeling the urgency to “do” rather than just “be”.
Today’s reading spoke to me profoundly. As I read it, I felt both relief and regret. I put so much into how what I do, say, sing, speak or act may effect people. I want just the right words or music or “brilliant ideas” so people will get what I’m trying to say. I want them to understand the truth of God, how He loves them, how He wants them to worship Him. Yet, I rely on “my” words more often than just “being” what He wants me to be and letting that spill out through me.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – if I’m living my life in close relationship with Christ, then others will be drawn to Him through me. The moment I think I have anything to do with drawing others to Christ, people will not be drawn to Him – and likely not to me either.
Paul’s words were very plain, without persuasion or brilliant ideas – quite intentionally – so people would be drawn to God, not Him.
“Keep it simple stupid” (the K.I.S.S. method) is a good reminder.
Thank you, Lord, for this reminder today. Help me to focus on my relationship with You and let everything else take care of itself. I love you, Lord.