1 Corinthians 4:1-5
The longer that I’m alive and the longer that I continue in service to the Lord, is the more that I’ve come to realise, you can’t please everyone!! What will be pleasing to one, will inevitably be the cause of displeasure to another and what will serve to light a smile on one face will no doubt serve to put a frown on another. Of course, as a Christian, we’re mandated to let our light shine before men that in seeing our good works, they might give praise to God. “In all things (writes Paul to Titus) shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” (Tit. 2:7-8). But what happens when after we have done this, we are still yet the target of men’s judgment and criticism? Then, we must seek the approval and good pleasure of God alone by faithful obedience to that which He has called each of us to do!
In this sermon, we take a walk through the corridors of the Corinthian Church and in so doing, we see that carnality was alive and well! One man esteemed Paul the greatest and another Apollos. Yet when everything was said and done, Paul said: “Who…is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" (1 Cor. 3:5). There was one thing central in Paul’s mind; one motivating factor that kept him going. It was not his popularity status before men, but the fact that one day he would stand before the judgment seat of Christ in whose presence, every man's work will be made manifest by fire! In light of this, it ought to be a small thing to every one of us that we should be judged by men! May God give us the courage to go on in the face of discouragement and criticism!