People may build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw. The day will make what each one does clearly visible because fire will reveal it. That fire will determine what kind of work each person has done. If what a person has built survives, he will receive a reward. If his work is burned up, he will suffer the loss…” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
I’ve started to slowly go through 1 Corinthians chapter by chapter, and today, these verses in chapter 3 really made me think. Paul wasn’t directing this toward nonbelievers, but to believers, those who claimed to follow Christ, having Him as their foundation. He was warning the church of Corinth to be aware while still on earth of exactly what they were “building with” on their already-laid foundation of Christ. Metaphorically speaking, we can either be building with pure, precious and expensive materials such as “gold, silver and precious stones”, or the latter three materials Paul states which are cheap, “wood, hay, and straw”. It made me question myself, am I truly building on God’s foundation with pure gold, or am I becoming lazy, complacent, or cheap, adding in some hay and straw here and there? There will come a day where we will all be judged according to what our lives were comprised of here on earth–our actions, our words, and our intentions/motives. And after reading a commentary on these verses, I’ve realized as a proclaimed Christian, it can be very easy to slip in some of those “cheap materials” when building God’s kingdom here on earth. Are we doing everything in our power to further grow it? Are we living fearlessly and courageously for Christ? Even when doing “the right things”, are our intentions and motives behind it pure? A heart of service, going to church with a heart of worship, prayer, generosity, love–these are examples of building with “fireproof” materials. But laziness, complacency, fear, self-centeredness, attitude of “just getting by”, going to church to impress others or with other motives, doing works “for Christ” but in your own strength–these are examples of materials that will be easily burned up when judgement comes, leaving you with nothing to show Christ on that day. I encourage you to evaluate your life and I do the same, in order to ensure you are building with fireproof materials, or to allow time to change your “building materials” if not. What do you want to be able to show Christ on the day you stand before Him? The day to prepare for tomorrow is today.