1 Corinthians 7:25 Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
As we read the New Testament, particularly Paul’s letters to the various churches (like this letter to the church in Corinth), there are many and various topics that are covered. Some topics are more theological in nature, but some (like this one) are very practical. Two things catch my attention this morning:
1) It’s obvious that Paul anticipated Jesus’ return to occur in his lifetime – or shortly after. Many theologians and biblical scholars have debated why it has taken so long for Jesus to return, but I won’t address that here. However, this passage really only makes sense if we understand that Jesus was expected any day. With that expectation, it may not have made sense to get married and start a life together – only to have that union cut very short by Jesus’ imminent return.
2) More interesting to me, however, is the phrase “I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy”. There is a humility offered here as Paul makes the distinction between God’s command and his personal opinion. This is very important distinction, in my view.
As a parent/leader/pastor, I get asked for my advice all the time. What people are often looking for is a word from the Lord. What does the bible have to say about this particular subject, or that life situation? I would do well to remember that, despite my best intentions, my opinion and God’s command are NOT always the same thing.
Lord, give us humility to acknowledge our limited understanding of your truth, despite our best intentions. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.