1 Corinthians 4:14-17
1 Corinthians 11:1

"…as my beloved sons
I warn you."


In an earlier devotion, we saw how the Corinthian Christians were conceited and complacent in their spiritual walk with God. As their paidagogos, Paul had the moral duty to address their problem. A paidagogos is one who takes charge of a boy as he goes to school. He will watch the conduct of the boy to see that he displays good manners towards others, and carries himself with the appropriate dignity and courtesy. Similarly, Paul, the paidagogos, must watch over the conduct of the Corinthian Christians, to point them towards the pathway of holiness.

However, Paul was more than just a paidagogos to them, for a paidagogos may not be so passionately invested in their charges. To Paul, their founding pastor, the Corinthian believers were his spiritual children. He was their spiritual father. Just like an earthly father would warn his son when he goes astray, so Paul’s admonishment was a sign of his love for them. His desire was not to shame them, but to lovingly help them out of their spiritual stupor.

Popular theology teaches, "Do not follow me. Follow Christ." Not so for the Apostle Paul. He urged the Corinthian Christians to imitate (mimetai) his godly example. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor 11:1).

Sadly, instead of regarding their faithful pastors as spiritual fathers, many hold them in contempt. "… a prophet hath no honour in his own country" (John 4:44). Or as restated in an old Chinese proverb, "Local ginger is not hot." Such an attitude is detrimental to our souls. Recall Hebrews 13:7, "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." Follow your faithful pastors!

THOUGHT: Do I submit to my faithful leaders?
PRAYER: Lord, grant us faithful pastors and teachers.