Psalm 120-123; I Corinthians 6

I cannot help but feel that in Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul felt like shaking his finger at the Corinthian Christians, raising his voice, and staring them down as he sarcastically yells at them, “is it so, that there is not even one wise man among you?” I can imagine that each one reading his letter felt like a worm about to be squashed.
Criticism can be hard to take, especially when I think I am in the right. What is interesting in this passage is that Paul does not give a “ding-dang” (as my older sister would put it) about who is right. He goes on to say, “Why do you rather not accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?”
Wait, just a minute, Paul! Do I have stupid written all over my face?! This does not sound like good advice. In fact, this sounds like I am going to lose in the end and that other person will get away with what is mine.
I rather like the assurances in the Psalms that indicate all my whining and complaining about false tongues and lying lips (Psalm 120:2), all evil (Psalm 121:7), and all contempt and scorn of the proud (Psalm 123:4) will be dealt with by the Lord God, Himself. He will “preserve your soul,” (Psalm 121:7) That’s better; go get’m, God!
So does this mean that I should say to the offender, “Fine, you win, but just you wait; God will pay you back, and I’m going to be there laughing when it happens.”
You may not be as sick as me and maybe you would never think to say these things or say what you really think about the wrong that has been done to you. Yes, I would like to pretend I never thought this way, either.
Maybe I should explain the rationalization that I use to justify my righteousness or at least give my excuse for wanting to come out on top, ‘smelling like a rose.’ The joy of being in God’s hand, in His house, and with His friends has lifted me to a place where I want to dwell always. All is good. All is right with the world. All is safe. These troublesome people or situations that plague me interfere with that peace; they cause my joy in the Lord to take a nose-dive. If only I can be sure that God will vindicate and justify me, I will be happy all the time. These are my thoughts right before the bomb hits.
God said that it is I who needs mercy, (Psalm 123:2). Why would I need mercy if someone else is attacking me? Why would I need mercy if someone is taking what is mine? Isn’t mercy given to someone in need of forgiveness? Why do I need to be forgiven? Upon reflection, I suspect my foolish reactions and my irrational, wandering thoughts about what is really no more than “filthy rags” of righteousness have reached to the heavens. Only an explosion of mercy will save me. Ironically, prayers of mercy are the ones that are always answered. Mercy for my unbelief, fear of man, fear of loss, fearless pride in who I think I am. Prayers of mercy on me – not prayers of destruction to my enemies. Communication of divine law comes through the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ and God the Father. I prefer His mercy. I’m a little slow, Paul, but I am not so unwise as to miss this point.

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, Psalms

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