1 Corinthians 4:1-5;Psalm 37:3-6, 27-28, 39-40; Luke 5:33-39
It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you. (1 Corinthians 4:3)
A saying made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous goes like this: “What others think of me is none of my business.” That’s a good reminder to all of us that people’s opinions about us shouldn’t rule our lives. When they speak something negative about us, it really says more about who they are than it does about who we are. Conversely, what we say about other people reflects back on us. In the final analysis, the only person we have to please is God. What a peaceful world this would be if everyone adopted this philosophy!
Paul says something similar to the believers in Corinth. They are squabbling over doctrines, favoring one apostle over another, and becoming divided as a result. But Paul doesn’t want them to get hung up on personalities. He’s simply a messenger who has been called to share the good news. They can’t really judge him, or any apostle, as being more important than another. If he lived in our day, Paul might just as well have said, “It’s not about me; it’s about Jesus.”
It’s not that opinions don’t matter. We all have likes and dislikes. We may disagree strongly with a co-worker, a political figure, or a family member. We may not like the way a particular ministry is run. We may even have a favorite priest or homilist. There’s nothing wrong with these, as long as our opinions don’t put walls between us and people we disagree with. We have to remember that charity is the most important thing, because it is the virtue closest to God’s heart.
If you are getting distracted by what someone is doing or saying, take a moment to focus on Jesus. Remember that he died not only for you but for everyone who disagrees with you. He loves each of us with a love that is total and unconditional. Ask for that love to penetrate your heart more deeply. Let his grace help you to see all the people around you—even the ones you disagree with—as his sons and daughters and as your brothers and sisters. Jesus’ love has pulled down “the dividing wall of enmity” (Ephesians 2:14). In Christ, we are truly one!
“Lord, there are many I disagree with. Help me to look beyond our differences to find harmony in the power of your love!”~WAU