Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Ambition Vs. Calling

What would you like to accomplish in the near future?

Popular Translation

1 When I paid you a visit, brothers and sisters, I didn’t come to tell you about the mystery of God with flowery words and my own wisdom. 2 Instead, I made a decision not to bring you any other knowledge except that about Jesus Christ and him on the cross. 3 In fact, I was scared when I was with you; I felt weak in the knees and shook when I was around you. 4 My words and message were not wise ones that could persuade anyone. But, they shown off by the spirit and power of God! 5 So, your faith is not based on the wisdom of people. It is based on the power of God!

Literal Translation

1 I, having visited you, brothers, did not come with an pervasive (delivery) of words or wisdom, proclaiming to you the mystery of God. 2 For I judged (with the mind) not to know something among you except JESUS CHRIST and this (ONE) having been crucified. 3 I, in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, was before you, 4 and my word and my proclamation were not in persuasive [words of] wisdom, but in a demonstration of spirit and power, 5 so that your faith might not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

All of us like to hear a great speaker, a person who can instruct, entertain, and enlighten all at the same time. Many times we have high expectations when we go to see a well-known speaker. And, many times we come away from a talk disappointed. The speaker might not have fulfilled all three criteria for a good presentation.

Imagine if a speaker was proud of the fact he was not inspirational or entertaining. Paul was. In fact, Paul claimed he was not good at delivery, nor did he claim to have great insight. (We do not know if Paul was a good orator, but he was very insightful. So his claims were far too modest for his ability!) Instead, Paul insisted his ministry and message were based on the activity of God. Such a claim was rooted in his calling. Paul did not aspire to preaching; he claimed it was God’s will for him. Indeed, his charism might not have laid in oral delivery but in the work of the Spirit (healing, speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc.) Nevertheless, Paul held he did not try to promote himself. He always preached “Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

Some share their faith (“Jesus” small talk or the jewelry they wear) as a form of self-promotion. They would like known as “good” Christians. Others share their faith from their hearts. The former share what they want others to know about them. The latter share what they thinks others need to hear. Some use Jesus as a means of self-promotion. Others promote Jesus. Depth and sincerity really reveal the intention of the person who shares their faith.

Pray God will lead you as your share his message.

Have you prayed God will use you this day? How do you think God will use you to achieve his ends?