From Ephesus, where he stayed about three years, Paul wrote lengthy letters to the struggling church in Corinth. These correspondences sought to answer questions and gave training in godliness, even if it was from a distance. Paul did not want his followers to be deceived, but to build on the foundation that is found in Jesus alone. He brought to his readers’ minds how he and his team lived among them and he warned them about pride that can so easily rob God and distort reality. Paul wrote,“We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us.”
Making rice taffy is hard work, yet that was one of the ways Hank made a living. He was a new believer and his family lived in a minority village in China. One day Hank was in the market hawking his wares offering samples to those doing their shopping. A man took the taffy, then arrogantly spit it out all over that day’s inventory. Hank had a choice to make. The old Hank would have beaten the rude man, but the new Hank did not. Later, Hank shared this experience with a group of young men who also needed to learn that blessing and patience could be lived out. Returning evil for evil didn’t have to be the way. When our foundation is firmly placed on God, we have the strength and the state of mind to offer a blessing instead of cursing, to patiently put up with insults. This shows a maturity from a life trained in God. He will judge all. Frequently recalling that our identity is as a child of the King will help give us a proper perspective as we actively live in a world that desperately needs to know Him.