We live in a culture, not unlike the Corinthian culture, where the opinions of others mean a great deal to us—maybe too much in fact! Between Facebook “likes” and followers on Twitter, people go crazy looking for approval. Is there a deep insecurity in each of us?
Even our ambitions for more — to have more, to be more, to climb the ladder, get the promotion, be successful — have led some to call this generation, Generation Stress. Helicopter parents drive kids to have greater and greater achievements, adding additional pressure for kids to reach academic and athletic success. Why? What is the motivation? Good question.
If we are going to be ambitious, then we should know how to handle success. What about failure? Acceptance? Rejection? Popularity? Unpopularity?
In 1 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul is dealing very personally with such things. The problem in Corinth was that the people were taking sides and they were not siding with Paul, but with others who they judged as more gifted, more charismatic, more refined, more popular. We have all possibly been there at one time or another. So how does Paul press on without being crushed by this? How does he stay in ministry when it would have so easy to quit? How do you handle, or even judge, success, failure, ambition, reputation, and the like?
It’s all about perspective, so listen in and see for yourself how to live free like the apostle Paul!