Trying to be impressive?

Passage:

“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/1co.2.1-5.nlt

Paraphrase:

When I first visited your churches, brothers and sisters, I didn’t come as a popular well versed speaker using words and phrases you didn’t understand in an attempt to be impressive. Instead I decided to forget everything I’ve learned about public speaking and simply remember the only thing that matters is that I tell you about Jesus Christ who was crucified. I came in fear and trembling; it was like I had never spoken to anyone ever before. Rather than using some rehearsed speech I just spoke plain and simple, relying on the power of Holy Spirit. I did this so that you wouldn’t put your trust in my ability to convince you with powerful words but so that you would only trust in God’s power to change your lives.

Premise:

Paul is telling the Corinthians that he didn’t come to them and try to be impressive among them in order for them to like him. He instead choose to speak with common and simple language so that everyone could understand what God had done through the death of Jesus. Paul wasn’t trying to make a name for himself or to gather a following; he was interested in people seeing God’s power move mightily among them.

Ponder:

Do I seek to be impressive?

Am I trying to get people to follow me or Jesus?

Am I relying more on my ability than God’s power and Spirit?

Principle:

It is God’s Spirit that changes lives, not my abilities.

God can use common, simple things to communicate to others.

Practice:

Don’t try to be impressive to others.

Rely on God’s Spirit for the right words to say.

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you are able to use people of all backgrounds and educational levels to share your story! Help me to be more reliant upon your Spirit than on my own words in speaking and sharing your story.

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