1st Corinthians Chapter 3

Begin by reading 1st Corinthians 3. Then jump back here for the reflection.

In my “free” time, I volunteer coach basketball. I started this years ago when my son was in fourth grade and I have continued coaching with my girls. When we first started, the basketball was bad. They could barely execute the basic moves of basketball…namely dribbling and passing. Over the years, I have watched each of my kids develop into solid team players. They can execute basic skills and have progressed through some of the more difficult concepts of the game. Watching them develop as players and teammates has really been a lot of fun. Being able to do play at a higher level has been fun for them, too. They approach the game with a good foundation and look to build upon that foundation each season.

One of the hard parts of watching them play today, without fail, comes when they play with a teammate who is brand new to the game. My girls want to execute good team basketball. I can see their frustration when they cannot trust a new teammate’s skill set, because everything is so basic. No foundation has been given for that new player, so one must be laid. I feel compelled to help the newer player catch-up and yet, I still want to push the more developed players at the same time.

Paul writes about building upon foundations of faith in 1st Corinthians 3. Paul writes that each of us have a spiritual foundation. That foundation may come from different places. For the Corinthians, it came from different teachers: Apollos, Paul, and Peter. Many friends I listen to talk about foundations of their lives. Some say they went to Catholic School. Others say they grew up Lutheran. Some talk about a committed grandmother who prayed for them all the time. Much like being a beginning basketball player, foundations matter.

  • What has helped build your spiritual foundation?
  • Do you think your foundation is solid?
  • How have you, or others, built on that foundation?

Sometimes, much like a new player with limited skills, we feel as if we aren’t smart enough, good enough or qualified enough to experience the kind of faith and life that Jesus invites us to have. We struggle with old habits. We find our way into new troubles and this building up of faith feels like a waste of time…because nothing seems to work or go right. Paul’s encouragement to us is that God, who loves you most, is building you up!

Paul concludes chapter 3 with this encouragement: “For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

  • Do you believe Paul’s encouragement in chapter 3?
  • Where do you think God wants to build you up?
  • Will you let Him?

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