1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (NRSV)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
The passage today comes from the first letter we have that Paul wrote to the newly established church in Corinth. He heard that things might not be going too well in the congregation since he left (imagine that, problems in a church!) and wrote to encourage these new Christians to get back on track.
Paul is writing to a congregation that is “in the world”—they’re still learning what it means to live as believers in Christ among others. Here we are, still trying to figure out how to live as Christians “in the world” more than 1,150 years later. That should indicate to us that it’s really hard and it’s ok that we struggle.
Luckily Paul gives us some help in these verses: whatever you do, don’t do it to please others or to please this world. Let everything you do come back to pleasing God. And while you’re at it, be humble and considerate of others in this pursuit. The best way to do this is to try to be like Christ.
How, then, can we be like Christ? A simple way to start is this: every morning when your feet hit the ground, ask God to let Christ live in you today. Just start there. Beginning your day this way already sets you in the right direction because the catch is that we can’t actually accomplish living as a Christian “in this world” on our own. It only happens by the power of the Spirit and we need its help. What a comforting and relieving thought – if we just allow it, God will provide what we need.
Almighty God, I need your help. I struggle, like so many before me, to figure out how to live in this world. Let the message of Paul guide me. I ask your Spirit to let Christ live in me today so that I might live like Christ always. Amen.