Do Not Boast About Human Leaders
1Cor. 3:21 So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours,
1Cor. 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you,
1Cor. 3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
A number of different preachers and teachers had made their way through Corinth. Different members of the church felt that they had bragging rights over the follower of Christ who had discipled them. Some were proud that Paul had been their teacher. Others may have been baptized by Apollos and Peter had also been influential in the ministry there. The problem was the disunity among the believers as they argued over who was more important. Paul was telling them that boasting about human leadership was a waste of time. Rather, everything here on earth comes under the rule of Christ. We all — including our human leaders — belong to Christ, “and Christ belongs to God.”
Unfortunately we have a tendency to want to boast. It may be about the leaders who have been our mentors. It could be about the education we have received. It may be about the church we have attended or the Pastor who has influenced us the most in life. We may want to boast about our personal accomplishments or the things that we have accumulated throughout our lives. All of this is a natural human tendency and it creeps into the lives of the those who follow Christ.
Paul was witnessing this in the behavior of those who attended the church in Corinth. They were bragging about their spiritual mentors, but really what they’d done was to “spiritualize” the human tendency to boast. As we grow in God’s grace these types of behaviors should disappear for all we can boast about is where we stand in our relationship to Christ.
We cannot boast in the powers or abilities of humans. Have you ever wondered why so many spouses of world leaders have sometimes been drawn to things like astrology. I read an article recently that spoke about the fear that many of the spouses of the world’s great leaders have. Why? Because they know just how human and ordinary their spouses are and they are hoping and praying that there is something out there more powerful than the man or woman they know on a very human level.
The reality is that there is nothing superhuman about a human leader. They simply are, human. And yet, God, in Christ, provides us with all that we need life, work and ministry. Yes, human mentorship, education and training is a good thing and it is necessary, but it should always be pointing us in the direction of Christ for God is the only one worthy of our praise. If we are going to boast, may we boast in him.
Thank you, Lord, for all you have done in and through others. I am very grateful, but may I always remain loyal and faithful to worshipping you! Amen.