So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. 2 Corinthians 5:16a NLT
Paul writes to new Jesus-followers in Corinth, where people are obsessed with status. Corinth was relatively new, so one could move there, become rich and quickly achieve power and influence. Paul came to Corinth to bring the Gospel, not to get rich. Those who responded to his message needed help understanding that a relationship with Jesus should completely transform how they viewed themselves and other people. They needed Jesus’s point of view.
We often view the New Year the same way people viewed Corinth—as an opportunity to make a new start. What Paul tells them is hugely relevant to us as we make resolutions based on the values of our culture. Social media, peer pressure and the desire for success propel us toward comparison, insecurity and guilt as we form our goals.
Paul’s words challenge the Corinthians’ cultural norms and ours. He bases his new point of view on a changed identity in Christ and God’s call and purpose to all believers. Paul presents a new standard based on faith in what Jesus has done for us and the power of the Holy Spirit within us to carry it out.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Reflect on the motivations behind any of your goals and resolutions for 2023. Ask God to search you, know your heart, and lead you toward his everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24). Consider if your goal comes from a worldly desire and make some changes to adjust your thinking. For instance, instead of the goal to “lose weight, so I look skinny on social media,” reframe your thinking towards “I want to have a healthy body to be able to do the good things God has for me.”
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
January is BIBLE READING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.