Pitfalls in the “Sacred”

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13; Psalm 34:1-10

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
1 Cor 9:27 “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the Apostle Paul exhorted the church in Corinth to make “discipline” and “control” of the body a priority of the Christian life. He was also aware that such a discipline cannot be attained by frequent preaching and teaching of the Word. In fact, the words in verse 27 “lest after” seem to suggest that preaching and teaching of the Word could themselves be potential pitfalls to sin.

Why is this so? Paul did not elaborate. However, as a preacher myself I could attest that this is possible. This is possible because the preaching and teaching of God’s Word could give us a false sense of security. The preaching and teaching of God’s Word could tempt the preacher to crave for people’s “likes”. The preaching of God’s Word could tempt the preacher to think that he or she is somebody when he or she is just a servant of Christ.

This passage is a good reminder that in whatever I do, even in the seemingly most “sacred” of things; evil is always knocking at the door. Yet the Lord gave the assurance in verse 13 that He will always provide a way out. It is really up to us to submit and walk that way out; no matter how painful to the flesh it might be. Indeed, lest I be disqualified!

Thank you Lord for this good reminder to keep my body under control for the sake of Your glory and purpose. Help me to remember that this is only made possible by the love of the Father, grace of the Son and work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.