We roll up our sleeves and build with quality materials, we build on Christ and Christ crucified for us.
I Corinthians chapter 3 reminds me of the children’s fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs. All three were of the same family. They all started out with the same goal, to buy some bricks to build a house. As they traveled along the way, they met up with a man selling straw. One little pig thought to himself that he wouldn’t have to travel so far for the bricks, he would rather do less work and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. So he quickly built his house and settled in. Meanwhile, the second and third pigs were still on their way to get bricks when a man with a bundle of sticks passed them by. So the second little pig thought to himself that he was tired and wouldn’t have to travel so far and built his house with the sticks. The third little pig continued on, built his house with the bricks and was safe inside his home from the big bad wolf.
This story describes the Christians in Corinth at this time. They were Christians who would stand guiltless before God on the day of the Lord but what would be their reward? Would they barely escape through the flames? (vs 15) Their work would be tested for its quality. (vs 13)
The little pigs all started out with the same goal but two of them got lazy. When the quality of the materials was tested, their houses were easily blown down. They thought themselves to be wise when really they were foolish. The version I used to read to my grandchildren claimed pig one and pig two were saved from the wolf but just barely. But the last little pig made the effort to build his house solid. He invested his time in building well, building with skill.
Once we are Christians, we too are of one family. Jesus Christ is our foundation but what are we going to build on? Will we use quality materials? Or will we spend our time on meaningless jealousy and quarreling? (vs 3) How we build can have costly impacts.
Christians who build into the life of the church by serving each other can be built by some of our most valuable efforts. We roll up our sleeves and build with quality materials, we build on Christ and Christ crucified for us. We invest well by reading God’s word, spending time in prayer, making wise choices that shape us, and taking the time to help and encourage others, not on meaningless disagreements that only have worldly value.
What are our lives going to count for? What are we investing in? What is shaping us? Will it stand the test of time? Don’t just barely make it! Put the effort into building lives that endure and receive the reward in heaven.