1 Corinthians 15:34 (ESV) — Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with a friend years ago. He was a great guy that I enjoyed spending time with. But he had a terrible habit of embellishing things to the point of being an outright lie. He did this on the golf course (as many do), never properly counting how many strokes it took him to get the ball in the hole. People who played with him noticed it. He would jump into conversations with people and make claims that were questionable at best.
This reputation for embellishing things grew over time. It hindered him in so many ways. People stopped wanting to hang out with him. People discounted things he said, rendering him ineffective as a leader. I sat down with him and had a “come to Jesus” talk and warned him of the damage his actions were causing. I begged him to stop and not to continue in the pattern he was living in.
Our passage today is an example of the apostle Paul doing that for us. In 1 Corinthians 15:34 he pleads with us, “do not go on sinning.” Stop! The pattern you are in is destructive to you. The church in Corinth was known for their troubles. They had sin in the church and conflict over things happening in their worship gatherings. As Paul’s letter is concluding, he exhorts them to “wake up from your drunken stupor.” Their behavior and activity reflected they lacked a knowledge of God. He adds, “I say this to your shame.” You see, when we live in sin, we are living as if we have no knowledge of God. This is why he begs them to not go on sinning. It may not sound like much of a detailed explanation, but it is effective. We need to hear this simple exhortation to “stop sinning.” Sin is destructive and must be actively fought against. Sometimes the call to “wake up” is exactly what we need.
Unfortunately, my friend did not follow my exhortation to stop. He continued, and it has cost him many times with jobs and relationships. Take inventory of your life today, and do not go on sinning.
Reflection & Journal:
- What examples in your life do you have of someone exhorting you to stop sinning?
- Why is it important that we have people around us to tell us, “do not go on sinning”?
- What sins in your life do you need to actively fight against? Where are you vulnerable?
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