Vs 1 “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ …”
Vs 3 “… it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or any human court.”
Vs 4 ” … it is the Lord who judges me.”
Vs 12 “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we answer kindly.”
Vs 13 “We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world …”
Vs 16 “I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”
Paul tells us what the life of an apostle looks like.
An apostle of Jesus will be a servant who will be judged harshly by others and treated lowly.
How lowly? Paul uses the phrase “scum of the world”!
This consists of being reviled, persecuted, and slandered as normal for him.
And he doesn’t waste time worrying about it.
In fact, he says the world’s judgement is “a very small thing”!
Why? Because he’s a servant of Christ!
So, I consider myself a servant of Christ.
But do I care if I’m judged by others? Probably more than I’d like to admit.
Maybe a better question is, does my “serving Christ” even warrant judgement by others?
In other words … Is it noteworthy?
Does it standout in an ocean of “humanitarians” that all consider themselves serving “the greater good”?
In any serving I do, am I seeking to raise my status or Christ’s?
Jesus said, “Let you light shine” … but why? …So others would “glorify the Father”.
Who is glorified by my service? Me or God?
I can’t ever recall being “reviled”.
We American Christians throw around being “persecuted” a lot,
but usually because we got an “eye roll” from the co-worker who doesn’t want to be told about hell.
I don’t know the persecution Paul’s talking about.
And if I’ve ever been “slandered”, I’m sure it was a consequence of my own actions.
Why was Paul reviled, persecuted, and slandered?
Because of the offense of the Gospel.
Why am I? Because of the offense of me.
I need to imitate Paul.
If Paul offended someone because of serving the Gospel, their judgement was “a very small thing”.
I need to serve Christ.
Serve in a way that His light will shine.
And stay aware of any circumstance which I can “bless”, and “answer kindly”.
God, thank you for your Word.
And thank you for Paul and his example.
Give me boldness and courage to serve in a way that provokes a response of glorifying You.
And if the response is not to glorify You, Give me the fruit of the spirit to love the people You put around me.