Many guides, but a “father”?

by Rev Jason Phua

Readings: 1 Corinthians 4:1-21; Psalm 71:1-24

READ (verses chosen for meditation)
1 Corinthians 4:15 “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.”

In 1 Corinthians 4:15, Paul was telling the Corinthians that while they have many people among them who preached and taught God’s Word; they did not have anyone who like Paul; will love them to the extent of being willing to speak openly and admonish them for the sake of growth. Indeed, much as the Christians in Corinth behaved in a way not pleasing to the Lord, Paul reminded them that through the Gospel, they are still his “beloved children” and the Apostle saw it as his charge to correct them in righteousness.

I can really relate to 1 Corinthians 4:15. I do have many guides in Christ; but few I can truly call “spiritual father” or “spiritual mentor”. “Guides” can teach good things in the Lord but when we need someone to speak truth into your life; they might not be willing to do so or at most give a vague response. “Spiritual father” is way different! He is ever so willing to listen, to be there and to act even at the expense of his own “reputation” or relationship with us or other people. Why? Because he really cares. His way of discipleship is love and not self-interest. His way of helping us to grow is the realistic realization that sometimes, admonishment is really necessary. Do you have someone who is willing to do that for you? If yes, I rejoice with you! If not, do pray for one for someone like this can really help us grow in Him.

Lord, help us to cherish persons in our lives who truly cares for our growth in You. Help us not to disdain them especially when they lovingly rebuke us for the sake of righteousness. Bless these persons for they are truly, the living example of Christlikeness. Amen.


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