In the midst of answering many of the Corinthians questions regarding marriage and faith, Paul makes a bold statement. Verse 17: Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. The immediate context is marriage but Paul applies it to slavery and circumcision, showing it to be a broader principle of faith. As he applies it to slavery, Paul says it is ‘ok’ to gain ones freedom, showing that the principle isn’t absolutely restrictive but explanatory.
I pondered the verse… Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
It seems one of the big themes of the verse is contentment. God can and will use a person in whatever earthly or human position they are in. Where the world in general judges a person by outward standards, that is not to be the case within the church where there is neither male or female, slave or free, circumcised or uncircumcised (see Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11).
The letter to Philemon bears this point out as well.
So how do I bring this into my life? What situations might apply to me?
Job promotion… it is not wrong to seek or take a job promotion but to live for it, to be striving for it, to be putting everything I have into getting it can, and often does, undercut contentment and the ability for God to use us where we are presently.
Marriage… some people are so intent on finding a wife/husband that much of life is ‘blocked out from view’ and the sense that God is with them or God might use them in that state is never understood or lived into.
Childlessness… where one lives… and so on.
Believing that our lives are in God’s hands, whatever the station, is a deep and abiding truth of the Christian faith. Seek how you can serve the Lord in whatever station you are in rather than clamoring for the next ‘best’ thing,whatever that may be for me or for you…
Wow, this is something to chew on…
Lord, help me to feel content in the life You have supplied right now and to look for opportunities to be useful for You and Your kingdom rather than lusting after that next promotion or move or …
I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.