by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: 1 Corinthians 4:1-21; Psalm 30:1-12
READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
1 Corinthians 4:14-15 “I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
To the Apostle Paul, “admonishment” was definitely part of his way of shepherding the Christians in Corinth. In fact he saw admonishment as something he would give to his “beloved children”. In other words, admonishment was an expression of the Apostle’s love for one another.
While admonishment seemed to be a common feature of ministry in the early churches; this does not seem to be so in the modern day churches. Is it because the modern day churches need less admonishment? Is it because we are doing so well that we need no admonishment from one another? We know in our hearts that this is certainly not the case. In fact, the opposite seems more probable; churches today would benefit much if the Lord send His people to come and admonish us on the areas we have strayed far from the Gospel.
I would think that admonishment is always necessary because our hearts are stubborn and even as God’s children we can be tempted to sin. Yet the modern day churches have the tendency to “skip” such an important part of loving one another. We prefer to uphold so called “peace” (in the name of love); but all we do is to give ourselves excuses to retreat from doing what is less popular or from the fear of confrontation. We might even have the wrong idea that “love” cannot contain admonishment – yet the Word of God proved that this is very far from the truth.
If someone is to ask which is the phase of ministry which I learned the most; I would say the phase where someone bothered to admonish me for something foolish I did or a behaviour I should watch out for. I am blessed to have people in my life who love me enough to do that for the sake of my growth in God. How about you? Do you have someone like that in your walk with God?
If you are reading this and you are praying for someone to come into your life to walk with you in that kind of authenticity and love, may I pray with you that the Lord will grant you this holy desire. Amen.