Early in 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul makes a point of telling Christians about his own weakness, fear, and foolishness. By not-so-subtle implication, he lets us know we ought to be that way, too. For Christians focused on the world’s wisdom, strength, and respectability, Paul turns our attention to the Savior. Jesus Christ chose the weakness and shame of the cross over the riches of the world, and so should we.
But later, near the end of the letter, Paul has more advice: “Be strong. Act like men.” What? After urging Christians to choose weakness over strength, why is he saying the opposite now?
Because of what he’s written in-between. Paul has shown Christians where our real strength comes from: Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected. After telling Christians to be strong, Paul gives one more instruction: “Let all you do be done in love.” For Christians, strength and love go together. But love-strength doesn’t look like world-strength. Love doesn’t brag or demand its own way. It’s patient and kind. It endures. And it’s strong enough to vanquish death.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley