Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

“So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

No one likes a hypocrite. There’s just something inherently wrong, evil even, about someone who actively seeks to convince those around him to do one thing while personally doing something else. It makes our skin crawl and gets our justice hackles raised higher and faster than just about anything else in the world. Sometimes hypocrites knowingly embrace their hypocrisy because of the personal gains it allows them to enjoy. Sometimes, though, we can fall into hypocrisy without realizing it. For all of its lack of intentionality, though, that can be the most dangerous hypocrisy there is. It’s also what Paul warns against here. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 2:8-9

“‘You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping my ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In 1989, Ed Koch lost his bid to be reelected Mayor of New York City in a primary upset to David Dinkins. When later interviewed about it and asked if he would run again, Koch wittily replied that “the people threw me out. And now the people must be punished.” In other words, if the people don’t like the situation they are in, it’s their own fault and they are going to have to own it. And indeed, sometimes when people are in a hard spot, it is their own fault for not receiving and following good leadership. But sometimes it is the fault of bad leadership. Disobedient people may raise the Lord’s ire, but poor leadership just makes Him angry. This is what Malachi reminds us of here.

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