I Corinthians 4:10-21
10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 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. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.
14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me.
17 That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.
18 Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. 19 But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.21 Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit?
Two things: 1.) I am to imitate Paul in my devotion and behavior. He was willing to look like a fool, to be weak, and to be ridiculed for the sake of the Gospel. I am to bless those who curse me; be patient with those who abuse me; appeal gently when evil things are lied about me. He is describing someone who entrusts all these issues to God. His loyalty was to the Gospel and to Jesus Christ.
2.) I am to live based on God’s power, not my own. All of the first point is accomplished by my not just talking about it, but by actually living by God’s power. That’s how I can imitate Paul.