Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power. What do you prefer? Should I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit? (1 Corinthians 4:18-21).
As a general rule people are not big on authority.
Unless, you know, we’re the ones wielding it.
Paul uses a tactic with which I am very familiar, having taught middle school for many years. “Which version of me do you want? The kind, loving, fun version, or the prison guard?”
It’s pretty effective with twelve-year-olds.
Beloved, I don’t know what Paul’s metaphorical whip was, though it does put me in mind of Jesus in the temple with the moneychangers–an image I have always loved. I do know that Paul’s line “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power” is sobering. It stops me cold. How often am I all talk, when God calls me to action?
Yep, too often.
And what, exactly, would that power Paul is talking about look like in my life today?
I don’t know, but I want to.
Thy Kingdom come
on earth…and in me.
Happy Thursday, Beloved.