March 3, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.”—1 Corinthians 1:4–6 (NIV)
One of my favorite things about God is how loving His discipline is. When we need to be corrected, God never uses shame or tells us we’ve lost our value in His eyes. This is the beautiful thing about God and our faith. Instead, He makes a point to remind us that even though there are consequences when we mess up, our actions don’t define who we are moving forward. We are made whole through Him no matter what we do.
In today’s passage, Paul tries to emulate this mindset when writing this letter to the people of Corinth. Paul is writing to them to give them correction and address some things that need to change in their community, but he starts his letter off with encouragement and a reminder that they are God’s people. Paul was an excellent example of how we, as Christians, should handle conflict among ourselves. Before getting to the problem, Paul thanks God for them. He reminds them that Christ will sustain them to the end, no matter how hard the road to sanctification is.
The focus of these verses is something we should carry with us in our day-to-day lives for ourselves and as we interact with each other. Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins, which means we are covered in His grace and mercy. There is nothing we can do that His sacrifice doesn’t cover. Paul is giving us a roadmap for conflict, but also with how we should view ourselves when we mess up.
I don’t know about you, but I know when I mess up, I can fall down a spiral of self-depreciation and forget about the value I have in God’s eyes. His divine correction is not meant to make us feel bad about ourselves, it’s meant to make us more like Him—and it all comes from a space of love. He wants what is best for us, which is exactly why Paul started off this letter to Corinth with those reminders to hold onto before he got into the difficult stuff.
So, how can we apply this to our lives today? Whether we’re in conflict with each other or feel shame about something we’ve done, it’s important to start off our resolution with a reminder of who we are in God’s eyes and that His sacrifice has paid the price for our wrongdoings.
Pause: When you mess up, what is your first response? Do you bury yourself in your shame and forget how loved you are? Do you forget about the sacrifices God made for you to be forgiven?
Practice: When you find yourself in moments of shame, keep a list for you to reflect on. Let this list remind you who Christ made you to be and how much He loves you. Thank Him for His sacrifice and allow yourself to move forward in correction knowing that you’re still valued in His eyes.
Pray: Father, thank You for Your sacrifice so I may receive forgiveness time and time again. I often forget how much You love me and how far You were willing to go to save me. Forgive me of my sins and help me turn away from wrongdoing. Make me more like You, and never let me forget how much You love me. Amen.
Kristen Hollis has served in the Communications Team of Calvary since 2020 as a Senior Copywriter and Editor. She contributes and edits content for Calvary’s digital and promotional initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Kristen and her husband Zachary enjoy all things musical theatre, vinyl hunting, and having the opportunity to serve Calvary on staff while utilizing their talents.