Paul has some interesting things to say in today’s reading from 1 Corinthians 7.  In this chapter, we see some things from Paul that make us pause for a moment and reflect on what it was that he was going through and the expectations that he had.  It’s pretty clear that Paul thinks time is short for the believers.  He believes that Christ’s return is going to be soon.  He says in 1 Cor 7:30 – Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them.  For this world as we know it will soon pass away.

Early on in his ministry, Paul was shaped by this belief that we didn’t have long.  It’s a sense of urgency that compelled him to plant churches all over the Mediterranean.  It’s a sense of urgency that we have lost in the Church today.  Everything that Paul says in the last half of 1 Cor 7 is because of this sense of urgency.  It’s because he thinks there isn’t a lot of time to share the good news, and he doesn’t want there to be any barriers to get in the way of sharing it.

I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you.  I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible (1 Cor 7:35).

We live in a distracted time, don’t we?  We live in a time when it’s easy to forget about the task at hand.  We end up focusing on what is right in front of us, blocking us from what we really need to be focusing on.  In what Paul is saying here, he admits that he does not have a direct command from God, but is using the wisdom that God has given him.  In that wisdom, he says some things that may make some of us want to shut him out, but at the heart of it is a desire to share the gospel and a sense of urgency in it.  He doesn’t want us to focus so much on our circumstances, but on doing whatever it takes to bring the message to those who haven’t heard it.  There’s certainly some wisdom in that.