The Perfect Christian

St Paul is not my favourite of the New Testament writers.  I know he’s been spun, misquoted and misused down the centuries.  But it’s not that.  If you read his letters (and Acts of the Apostles), he’d show up in a strange place, go to the synagogue, preach the Gospel, get thrown out, make friends with a couple of folk (often women), get invited to stay at theirs, keep preaching, upset the local authorities, get shouted at, beaten up, and run out of town.  Several times he was left for dead.  The bloke just didn’t learn from experience.  

But, you see, he shows me up for being safe and sensible.  It’s easy to look at a pattern of behaviour, shake my head and say “Why didn’t he learn?”  But that is to overlook his motivation, his urgency in sharing the Gospel.  His standards were high too – try reading I’ve been rereading this passage all week, and know that if I could achieve this standard of behaviour, my world would be a better place.  If we all did, then God’s Kingdom shines on earth.  

The trouble with St Paul is he gives me too much to live up to – the stretch is very long!


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