Paul is really bothered by these Corinthians. Their pride and arrogance really gets under his last nerve. But he’s to remain calm and kind. As a matter of fact, he pretty much lays out what it’s like to be a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ:
11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.
I’ve said it before – I guess things haven’t changed much. Being a true Christian in America today provides the same set of rewards (and it’s getting worse). But, as Paul says in verse 3: “As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority.” We are only to live as Christ directs us to, not the world.
I love how he warns those who are all talk and no action:
18 Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. 19 But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.
Lord, let me live out my life for the Kingdom of God today, not just in words. Fill me with Your power.