Today’s reading (1 Corinthians 9) highlights two tensions in living the Christian life that I think most of us struggle with…

Authenticity versus Adaptability: Authenticity is a huge value today, and that’s great. We need to be who we really are, and not put up false pretenses. However, there is a sense in which we’re not to be who we are. Paul writes that he becomes all things to all men so that he can connect with them, where they’re at, and then lead them to Jesus. That doesn’t mean he was fake, but it does mean there was an adaptability to his authenticity. Have you got that? Do you know how to be you sitting with a rich, formal business man – and also be you hanging out with a Nascar loving, moonshine drinking guy from the hills of Mississippi? Both need to be you, but you shouldn’t look exactly the same in both situations.

Discipline versus Delighting: A lot of people today will say that we just need to delight ourselves in the Lord. Hang out with Him and enjoy Him. It’s a peaceful, warm, fuzzy lovefest. And there is some truth in that, but there’s also some lie. When Paul writes about how mercilessly he trained himself to be able to walk with God, you can almost hear “Eye of the Tiger” start playing in the background. That doesn’t mean he didn’t hang out with God and delight himself in the Lord, but it does mean that it’s not all a walk in the fields. Have you got that? Do you love hanging with God – and also realize that you have to discipline yourself almost Clockwork Orange style if you’re really gonna walk with Him?