The Abundance of Belonging 1Cor 3:5-23

by Samantha Chambo

“… all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future- all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”

(1 Cor. 3: 21-23)

These words remind me of the African philosophy of Ubuntu. It is the belief that our existence is tied to that of other people. Ubuntu says: “I am because we are.” It means my humanity is totally tied in with that of my community and so good fortune in the community means my good fortune and the downfall of the community means my own downfall.

Paul is addressing the factionalism, fighting, gossiping and quarreling in the Corinthians church, so he reminds them that they all belong to each other. Paul says that all the leaders belong to all of them and the leaders also belong to each other. He reminds them that God, who is the Lord of all these leaders should be the focus because He is the one who gives the fruit of their ministry. This belonging that Paul mentions has even greater significance, the world belongs to them, life or death, the present or the future all of it belongs to them. Why? Because they are in Christ and Christ is the Son of God.

Working the argument backwards we can say that those who are in Christ have such an amazing abundance that it cancels out any need for fighting, grasping or diminishing any person. It realizes that Christ has provided such an abundance of blessings for us that we can afford to be generous in our dealing with other human beings. There is more than enough to go around. This generosity extends beyond material things, but it includes consideration, forgiveness and even allowance for mistakes. The greatest blessing in all of this is that we can belong to the beautiful family of Christ.

Think about it

Count the many ways that being a part of Christ family has blessed your life.

How generous have you been to others as a result of your awareness of these blessings?

For Today

Make it a point to be as generous as possible in your evaluations of people’s efforts as they work with or serve you.

Prayer

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

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