In the middle of Paul’s thorough discussion on marriage and singleness, he seems to break off onto a tangent that is unrelated to the topic. However, while the principles in this section are applied to all areas of life, they are especially pertinent to the question of which is best, marriage or singleness. Paul answers this question by saying that the best is whatever life God calls you to live. Don’t compare your life with others or analyze whether or not marriage would be better for your future or if singleness would be more advantageous. Simply live the life God has set before you, seeking Him first in all things and then allowing Him to lead and direct your steps.
Here’s what Paul writes on this matter.
“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.”
~1 Corinthians 7:17-24
Human beings are naturally competitive creatures. We default to a comparison mindset and can become obsessed with fitting in or conforming to whatever mold current culture and society deems as “normal.” However, the reality is that God created each of us individual and unique and has designed us for a special purpose. Therefore, our lives will and should not look exactly the same. While there might be many similarities, what we do, when we do it, and how will all be different. And that’s the beauty of God’s ingenuity and creativity. He doesn’t do anything exactly the same.
Nevertheless, because of our natural bent towards comparison, we can struggle with the uniqueness of our lives. The single person wants nothing more than to be married, while the married one would give anything to be single again. Childless couples long for children, while those overwhelmed with littles would love to enjoy some peace and quiet. Individuals working a fast-paced, high demanding job sometimes long for a more relaxed schedule, while others would love to have the stability of a consistent, reliable, and well-paying job. In every season and area of life, there will be differences between where God places us and where other people are at.
For this reason, Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 7 is a timely reminder for all of us. It’s a charge to live your life. Don’t try to live someone else’s life or replicate their life. Live yours. Be content in any and every season.
God has assigned and given us a life to live. Therefore, we should pursue that calling with all that we have and not waste time comparing it to the lives God assigns to others. As Christians, we are called to pursue and chase after God first and foremost. He is supposed to be our all and our everything. Therefore, as Paul states, let us remain in whatever situation God has called us to and faithfully live out the life He has assigned to each one of us.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
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