I saw a short documentary once about the discrepancy between sports fans and sports heroes. Some sports fans are rather vocal about how they want the players from their favored teams to perform. They zealously express their commentary on Twitter or in comment sections of various other platforms. In this documentary, the producers would challenge fans who had publicly mocked an athlete’s performance to see if they could perform any better than the athlete. It was rather funny to see these outspoken fans attempting to achieve the essential skills of their favorite sport. They left the experience with far greater respect for the athletes they had once mocked.
It can be easy to treat the doctrines of Christianity in a similar way. We hear Jesus’ teachings and may applaud them, but living them out is often more complex. The book of First Corinthians is one of the first examples of Christians trying to figure how to apply Jesus’ teachings in the real world. When you read Paul’s instructions to this church about “lawsuits”, you are not simply getting instructions for the church today; you are seeing him wrestle through how the “way of Jesus” applies to such matters. The lesson for us today is to be ruthlessly committed to using the teachings of Jesus in our everyday lives. Theology shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. It is only credible if it is true to how God has made the world to work.
Practice applying your faith in everyday life this week. Do you have a project you are working on? Is there a decision you need to make? How do you think Jesus would advise you to make the decision? How might the “way of Jesus” inform the effort, method, or focus of your project? Let’s not become couch potato Jesus fans who never live out what he teaches.