(Mangapul Sagala. D.Th student)
Dear brothers and sisters,
First of all, I would like to begin this reflection with this good statement:
“It is good to follow the leader, if the leader follows the Master”.
Paul was one of the great leader of the early Church. Was he worthy to be followed? Indeed, many things we can learn from Paul’s letter which we just read.
But now, let us pick up one thing for our reflection. In v.16, Paul says, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me”. In other words, Paul says, “Follow my example”. Can you imagine how bold was Paul in saying this to the Corinthians? This command will be more interesting when we study it in its context. Paul was saying this in the context of many teachers who infiltrated in Corinth. We read in v.15: “Even though you have ten thousand guardians…” And yet, in the midst of so many teachers, he asks the believers to imitate him. Besides this condition, Paul also was being misunderstood by the Church in Corinth. Perhaps it was influenced by the false teachers who had infiltrated and competed against Paul, or because their misunderstanding of his letter. It is in this context Paul challenges the Church in Corinth to imitate him, to follow his example.
What kind of example does Paul refer to? Let us read verses 12-13, he says, “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly…” Indeed, a good example of life is important in our life and ministry. This is even more important when somebody in the position of leadership. Back to our reading from the book of Genesis, I think Joseph is a good example. We notice that Joseph had given a strong impression of his life to Pharaoh and all his officials. Therefore Pharaoh was able to say of Joseph, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Gen.41: 38).
We are living here as a TTC community. As students and lecturers, may God help us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received.
Some of us will be graduated soon. May this reflection will encourage you to pursue a quality of life. No doubt, knowledge and theology are very important for your future ministry, but above all a good example of life. Some one says, “Your deeds speak very loudly, you don’t need to say anymore about it”.
Dear brothers and sisters, will you be ready to say as Paul, “Therefore, I urge you to imitate me?” Let’s pray.