“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12
Forgive me for dropping right in the middle of this chapter and, quite honestly, the middle of Paul’s thought as well. But, I want to take this opportunity to show you the importance of understanding context. Many will quote the Bible, but very easily misapply it by simply not comprehending the heart of the message. Yet, the messages’ core could have readily been found if the time had been taken to understand its context.
So, let’s review the context. In this case, Paul is warning the person who believes themselves to be standing, lest they experience a fall due to their pride. The passages prior to this verse are very telling as to what is in the mind of the person who believes they are perhaps above it all, standing tall. Paul had just used several Old Testament examples, where he listed various sins they had succumbed to. The list included lust, idolatry, drunkenness, sexual immorality and a complaining attitude. This previous list building itself into verse 12 reveals a rather disturbing truth of our hearts: we can justify just about anything. We can be living in (not even struggling with, but living in) any of the sins Paul listed and still believe we are in right standing!
Do you live in lust? Take heed! Stop justifying it. How about idolatry (the pursuit of anything above God)? Take heed! Stop innocently explaining it away. Perhaps for you it’s a complaining spirit that you’ve grown far too comfortable with. Take heed! It will produce death in your life. All of these, and many others, will cause any of us to fail and fall. Be on guard and you will be in God’s will. May we stop justifying our unholy behaviors and start seeing our sin for what it truly is.