So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.
So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. (NLT)
When we explore what or who motivates us to do what we do, we can sometimes pose the question, “Who is in my grandstand?” In other words, who is urging me on? Who am I trying to please? Who hurls accusations at me suggesting I am not trying hard enough? Whose indifference am I trying to overcome?
So much of our life is spent trying to meet others’ expectations of us. Even the expectations we have of ourselves may derive from the expectations of those looking on from the grandstand. The darker side of many prominent and not so prominent individuals can be traced to their attempts to prove something to those in their grandstand.
In our text today, Paul recognises that the Corinthians had expectations of him. He refuses to have his life shaped by them. Their opinions of him, his opinions of himself, may matter…but they don’t matter most.
Ultimately, it is Jesus whose opinion finally counts. He is no capricious tyrant or grinding taskmaster. He is concerned we become the people he has made us to be, not what others might want us to be. And what is even better, he is not even in the grandstand, but is alongside us every step of our journey towards wholeness in him.