Thursday, 7 August 2014
But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32
In this verse, Paul reverts back to his words of verse 28 which said, “Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.” After that came the intervening verses to build upon that thought and then this verse which begins with a confirmation that he has their best in mind and his words are intended not as commands, but as heartfelt words of counsel – as if a father to his children. And so he begins with “But I want you to be without care…”
If they will follow his exhortation, they will spare themselves trials and sadness that he is sure are coming because of “the present distress” (verse 26). And so to live “without care” he tells them, as an explanation, that “he who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord – how he may please the Lord.” This was his personal state and he knew it to be true. The man who is unmarried, particularly in times of distress, is not distracted by the marital issues which can complicate one’s life in many ways, and which inevitably will cause minds to be distracted from a clear and unhindered relationship with the Lord.
In contrast to this will come his words in the next verse which will be looked at separately.
Life application: Life happens. The more responsibilities we have, the easier it is to get distracted from a single-minded devotion to the Lord. This is particularly true when close relationships are involved. Having a spouse, children, or other family members to care for can cause our minds to be consumed with those details, leaving less time for pursuing Jesus. This does not mean being in such relationships is wrong, but if the world around us is in the middle of a time of distress, it would be better to consider not getting into overly burdensome relationships during such a time.
Lord, if I am a man of the dust which has been made into a jar of clay, then I am intended to be filled. I can be either be filled with precious contents, or something vile. I would choose to be a receptacle for Your goodness and Your Spirit. But also, if I am filled with You and then allow small amounts of wickedness to seep in, the contents will be tainted. And so daily, fill me anew with You and keep the world from seeping into the cracks of my life. Instead, seal me tightly with Your word and Your precious doctrine so that I may be a holy vessel, dedicated to You alone. Amen.