LentBlog ’14 Day 20: Self Control in an Out of Control World

1 Corinthians 7:32-40

I read this passage devotionally last night, but we were having an internet outage here at the house and I couldn’t post my reflection. So, for all none of you who have been waiting with bated breath for my next post, here ye be:

Paul continues his advice about marriage vs. celibacy here. Obviously, since the Corinthian people have asked Paul about it (7:1) it must be important to them. Paul restates his opinion that it is better to stay single and celibate, so that one’s entire focus can be on the Lord. He warns that being married can cause a divided heart. If they can, it’s better to practice the extreme self-control required to remain chaste.

What crosses my mind about this passage is how it really flies in the face of our culture as 21st century Americans. The idea that exercising self-control, particularly sexually, might be to our advantage is the furthest thing from our collective cultural mind. Again I don’t think Paul is saying we should all take vows of celibacy here and never get married… He’s pretty clear that this is his opinion and he does not think it a sin to marry…  But this passage could serve to remind us that self control is a good and preferable thing. Love for God and Neighbor is are not selfish in nature. To follow Jesus is to deny oneself daily. I guess it just helps me to touch base again with how counter cultural this whole thing really is.

 

Blessings,

Mark

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