What's Your Most Excellent Way?2
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
-1 Corinthians 12:31
Throughout history, different cultures, religions, philosophers and all major philosophical streams have offered different answers to one of the most important questions in human history: what is the good life?
Or to use Paul’s terminology here: what is the most excellent way?
The New Testament Scriptures follow Jesus in unapologetically jumping into this conversational fray with the answer that more people have found compelling than any other answer in all of history. The apostle Paul is particularly gifted when it comes to connecting the dots between Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection and what that has to do with the Jesus answer to the most excellent way.
Tomorrow, we’ll start to unpack Paul’s answer—an answer that has captured imaginations for centuries.
For today, I want to invite you to consider that there are a variety of other answers in our pluralistic world to the question “what is the most excellent way?” And all of us have bought in to those other answers to some degree
What is the most excellent way? Consider these popular alternatives:
- The most excellent way is acquiring as much money and stuff as possible
- The most excellent way is positioning yourself so that you don’t answer to anyone else but yourself
- The most excellent way is a spouse, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence
- The most excellent way is to follow your heart and believe in yourself no matter where that might take you
- The most excellent way is to have as many sexual partners as you possibly can
- The most excellent way is to be successful in your chosen field or profession
- The most excellent way is to fight for whatever cause you think matters most
- The most excellent way is to avoid conflict and responsibilities as much as possible
- The most excellent way is to acquire as many friends and as much approval as possible
- The most excellent way is to be famous some day
- The most excellent way is whatever works for you–and to not tell anyone else what their most excellent way is
This is just a brief sample of some of the most familiar ‘excellent ways’ that are swirling about in North American culture right now. When we fall for one of them, we miss out on the actual most excellent way that Jesus wants us to grab a hold of with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Which of the competing “most excellent ways” are you most tempted towards? Which of them have you believed in the past or are you hooked into right now? What’s deceptive or untrue about it? Spend some time asking the Lord to deliver you from the allure of false ‘excellent ways’ so that you might be open to the most excellent way of Jesus.