Read 1 Corinthians 4
Focus on verse 7
Suppose that you contracted at painter to paint the exterior of your home because you did not care for the color of it, and wanted a different color for a change. The painter agrees to do that job while you are away on vacation. When you return from your vacation you notice the paint is fresh but there is no difference in the the color of the exterior of your home. The painter went through the motions of painting your house but it didn’t make a difference because he used the same color.. In a case such as this you might be justified in withholding payment until the painter fulfills your request to actually change the color of the exterior of your house.
In today’s reading Paul is exhorting the Corinthian church because there does not appear to be any difference between those who call themselves followers of Jesus that those who do not.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? (v. 7)
This could be a very appropriate message for the contemporary church of America. While there are some followers of Jesus who are not afraid to be different than the world around us, the current trend has seemed to be the reverse. How does it benefit those who have yet to meet Jesus when they cannot see any evidence within those who claim to follow Him that He has had any effect in their life? If following Jesus doesn’t make us different – what is the benefit of following Him?