Wise In Our Own Minds

In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul was telling the church at Corinth that he was unable to speak to them with the kind of spiritual depth that they should be ready for because they were too immature and fleshly-minded. He continued to talk about their envy and their strife with each other, and the pride and rivalry that they carried by idolizing their leaders as proof of that immaturity. He reminded them that we are all just servants of Christ and that the foundation that Paul laid when he initially presented them with the gospel, was watered by Apollos, who was known to be a very eloquent speaker and teacher. This would have been viewed competitively to the contrary of Paul, who by his own admission commented that his public speaking was not very impressive. Paul is reminding them that none of this is supposed to be about the servant who is sharing the message because it is God’s wisdom, and it is God who provides the growth. The immaturity in taking pride in whom they were being taught by as a superior source to another was evidence that they were focused on the wrong things and missing the point of it all. And if they were using the fancy, eloquent words of wisdom they were hearing from Apollos to share with others so they could look and sound impressive and wise, they were also missing the point. The recognition for a thriving and growing church was not supposed to be given to any man at all because the whole point of it all is that we are all following Christ. Paul talks about the importance that the foundation we lay when we share the gospel with others and reminds us that we are accountable for the integrity of what that is. It will either stand up to the test or it will fail and reveal our motives. He cautions them that as they go and teach others, if they think they are wise, but are just sharing out of their own minds, or from the ideas they were hearing from others, rather than simply communicating the gospel of truth, the foundation that they lay will be revealed and tested. If it is their own human “wisdom” that they are sharing, it won’t stand up to the tests of life. Their “wisdom” and advice to those they are teaching won’t stand up to the tests of life unless they are teaching them God’s ways. This is something we all really have to be really careful about. If we are counseling and advising people based upon our own experiences, emotions, and ideas we will lead them with our own foolishness, emotions and flesh and the council we give them will not go well for them. But if we are reading God’s word daily and are in prayer, we will pull wisdom from the truth of God’s word and council them with Scripture instead of our own ideas, we will be laying a firm foundation and it will stand up to the tests of life.

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