The One Thing
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:7 (ESV)
It’s easy to become distracted. Everyone’s life tends toward busyness these days. Church-life, even, can oft be chaotic. It’s easy to become involved in so many things that most of our “free” time is occupied—leaving very little for recharging.
Through all the busyness. Through all the chaos. Through all the pleasures and challenges. One thing is the most important in how we live our lives. It centres around this brief passage in 1 Corinthians. It might not seem encouraging to be told that “neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,” but consider this: the point Paul is making is not that we are nothing, but that God is everything.
In God’s greatness He doesn’t exclude us, but rather weaves us into the tapestry of His plans and purpose. Giving all of us a unique, vital, and purposeful role that is important not only within the sphere of our influence, but also within God’s larger plans for humankind.
It’s sometimes difficult to see what God’s plan for us, individually, is. It’s sometimes even more difficult for us to see how our life even makes a difference in God’s larger plan. The key is not that we understand at all, but that our contribution to others is one that makes a positive difference for God.
Notice that Paul says, “[God] gives the growth?” Yet Paul and Apollos still laboured. One plants, one waters; as Paul says. In everything we do we are either contributing to another person’s growth toward (or in) God, or not. When we have difficulty understanding our role, our purpose, our life; when things try our patience, push us to the limits, or even go exactly the way we would want; we can never lose focus that in everything we do, we must contribute in a positive manner to the growth of other people—facilitating a greater understanding of and relationship with God through Jesus in their lives.