1 Corinthians 4:1 You should think of us as servants of Christ, the ones God has trusted to do the work of making known God’s secret truths.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Someone who does this work of God must always be faithful and do what God wants him to do.
1 Corinthians 4:3 But it is not important to me what people or a judge thinks of my work. I don’t even try to decide myself if I have done the right thing.
1 Corinthians 4:4 I don’t know of anything that I have done wrong, but I don’t say that I am innocent. God will say if I am guilty or not.
1 Corinthians 4:5 That is why you must not judge anyone now. The time for judging will be when the Lord comes. He will shine light on everything that is now hidden in darkness. He will make known the secret purposes of our hearts. Then the praise each person should get will come from God.
1 Corinthians 4:6 Brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself as examples for you. I did this so that you could learn from us the meaning of the words, Follow what the Scriptures say. No one must say that one person is more important than another person.
1 Corinthians 4:7 Why do you think you are better than someone else? Everything that you have, God gave you. Why do you boast about the things that you did not work for?
1 Corinthians 4:8 You think you have everything you need. You think you are rich. You think you have become kings without us. I wish you really were kings. Then we could rule together with you
1 Corinthians 4:9 We are apostles, but I think God made us unimportant and He gave us the last place of all people. We are like prisoners on our way to die in a place where everyone can see us. And now everyone in the world, angels and people, can see how we die.
1 Corinthians 4:10 Everyone thinks that we, the apostles, are fools because we work for Christ. but you think you are so wise in Christ. You think we are weak but you are strong. You think you are important and we are not important.
1 Corinthians 4:11 Even now we still don’t have enough to eat or drink, and we don’t have enough clothes. We often get beatings. We have no homes.
1 Corinthians 4:12 We work very hard for food and clothes for ourselves. When people curse us, we pray that God will bless them. When they do bad things to us, we keep quiet and hold out.
1 Corinthians 4:13 When they say bad things about us, we try to say something good that will help them. We have become like the worst people in the world, like dirt. We are like dirty things that people throw away.
1 Corinthians 4:14 I am not trying to make you feel ashamed, but I am writing this to warn you as my own children.
1 Corinthians 4:15 You have ten thousand teachers to guide you in Christ, but you do not have many fathers who led you to Christ and assumed responsibility for you, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the good news of salvation.
1 Corinthians 4:16 That is why I beg you to live as I live.
1 Corinthians 4:17 That is why I sent Timothy to you. I have helped Timothy to know the Lord Jesus and now he is like a son to me, and I love him very much and Timothy is faithful. He will help you to remember how I live in Christ Jesus. The way of life that I teach in every meeting of the church wherever I am.
1 Corinthians 4:18 Some of you thought I would never come to you again and they think they are very important now.
1 Corinthians 4:19 But I will soon come to you, if God wants me to come. I will find out if these people only talk or if they also do something.
1 Corinthians 4:20 Because where God is King, people don’t only talk about the things that God wants. They also do them with the power that God gives them.
1 Corinthians 4:21 You can choose what I must do when I come to you: Must I be angry, or must I be loving and friendly?