I suppose an explanation is in order considering last Sunday was Mother’s day but as stated before I plan my sermons out many months in advance and to be honest I don’t check for holidays except of Christmas and Easter as far as typical dictation. Otherwise it is another Sunday and in this case I am preaching a series our of 1st Corinthians and I am not going twist the passage into something it is not in order to fulfill the unofficial calendar.
In this passage I was struck by Paul’s fatherly attitude. He has spent some time questioning the Corinthians maturity and spiritual growth but the real business of this letter is about to begin. Once we hit chapter five, Paul is going to be very hard and firm about various issues and I think he wants to establish a tone. The odd thing it is not a tone of being an autocrat, he even seem to undercut his authority as an apostle point to the fact that apostles are often last of all. No, he instead simply states that his tone is that of a father trying to correct his children with love and firmness. I could not help my mind from going to the old sitcoms where children always seem to find dad strong, available but at the same time firm when it came to nonsense.
In many cases we as believers are responsible not only to ourselves but to our fellow believers. As ministers or even simply as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ there is a duty to try to keep one another on the straight and narrow path. The problem of course is often the tone of such concern is more often the horror story of someone who is not genuinely motivated to love but more motivated to meddle with the idea of being self-important.
Placing yourself in a more parental state of mind divorces the situation from self-importance. A good parent cares little for whether they are justified, patted on the back or inconvenienced by their children. What they care about is that the children learn and become better human beings. In Christian circles when some acts in genuine love to help or even correct someone this is the attitude to take. Not one where one is proceeding from a position of superiority but rather a position of love and genuine concern.
In our Christian lives we will often find ourselves on different places on our journey. We will look around and see fellow travelers who struggle, or about to make the same mistakes we made. Our duty as Christians it to love enough to act in compassion with a warning or advice but be of the mind and attitude that is more about family than self-righteousness or even standing on authority. If you have to force your authority to think you are caring them, then you probably don’t understand the nature of the church as family. The decision should be made to love, be truthful and be ready to help if you can. just like any parent should do for their child.