We all know someone in our lives that talks a lot, and I mean a lot… They never stop talking; they will tell you about their day, their lunch, what the sky looked like today, what the lady at the grocery store said about high fructose corn syrup (ya… and it wasn’t good). By now you get the point, and you are either thinking of someone in your life that talks too much, you may be getting a little annoyed just thinking about it. Or you are this type of person, a talker.
Now talking about these things and much more is not wrong but there can be a problem noticed with talking when our talk outweighs our walk. There may be someone in your life; you may be one of them that is all talk and no walk, they seem to over promise and under deliver. They are all talk.
In the letter to Corinth Paul encourages the Church with all that God is doing throughout his ministry and even there at Corinth, but then in chapter 4, Paul turns the conversation from encouragement to confrontation. Paul tells the Church in Corinth that rumors of their actions, to the degree of a man within the Church living with and in a relationship with his step-mother. Oh yes, the drama in Corinth is real… real housewives of Corinth.
20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)
The Christian Faith Is More Than Talk; It Must Be Lived Out Through God’s Power
With this one verse Paul challenges the Church, they have lived the ‘Christian life’ through a lot of talk, but their actions have fallen behind. Their mouth and heart don’t seem to live in harmony. Where is your life at? Do you live an amazing Christian life on Sunday morning but it’s back to the old ways by noon? Too many of us live this life and hardly recognize the dysfunction and hypocrisy. We continue to attend Church weekly (or monthly nowadays), and we can state all of the Biblical truths, popular Christian statements, we got Christianese jargon on point. But come Monday we are back to the ‘normal’ selfish, self-centered life.
Sometimes we look at accountability as a soft and loving action. Acceptance is vital so the other person feels comfortable. This is important and true, but there is another aspect of accountability that must be recognized. With accountability comes authentic relationships and love for your brother/sister, and if you love your brother, you should tell them the truth for their good. If they are living in an inappropriate manner, you need to call them out.
21 Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit? (1 Corinthians 4:21)
Ohhhh dang! Pappa Paul is coming with some strength. I love this! Paul uses the word ‘rod’ which can be referenced to many Old Testament Scriptures about discipline. Paul has a relationship with Corinth; he helped plant the Church, he loves and cares for the people. The relationship is there so the statement of a ‘rod’ and punishment is heard and can be accepted by the people.
Now before you go threatening others at the local Starbucks with a rod recognize that Paul cared for these people, many were converted and saved under his leadership. God has placed others in your life that you have poured into, maybe it is time to pour into them more deeply?
Today stop and think about the areas that God has placed you in where you can love and disciple those around you. How can you take that relationship to a more profound more impactful level? Also, look at your own life, do you have someone in your life that will punish you with a rod if necessary? We all need accountability! And finally, look internally, are you all talk?
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