Quite Unwilling.

Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now… I Corinthians 16:12 (NIV)

Paul wrote this to the church at Corinth, a group of people previously steeped in a life of debauchery and licentiousness but who’d, for the most part, become believers in Jesus Christ after Paul arrived with the gospel message.

Problem was, they brought their bad habits and wayward attitudes into the church. And at some point, divisions occurred among them.

Some were following Paul’s teaching while others had aligned with his fellow-laborer, Apollos. 

“What after all is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants through whom you came to believe… I Corinthians 3:5 (NIV)

When Paul got word of what was happening among the Corinthians he loved so much–the jealousy, the quarreling, the worldliness–he wrote the lengthy letter to both encourage and admonish them.

Try as he might, there was no persuading Apollos to return to the Corinthians.

Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now. I Corinthians 16:12

The NAS says Apollos had no desire to go to them.

Scripture doesn’t say why Apollos was quite unwilling, only that he’d go when he had the opportunity. (vs 12).

It’s thought Apollos may have feared his presence would create greater divide and he didn’t want to return until they’d found unity in Christ. And he sure didn’t want to risk being placed on a pedestal.

In the spirit of brother Apollos, how unwilling am I to choose man’s direction over God’s, even if delivered with a sincere, urgent plea?

And then there’s the flip side…

How often do I err on the side of quite unwilling with clenched fist when God has made His directive clear? Is God’s heart smiling at my quite unwillingness?

It should be. 

Am I quite unwilling to forgive or harbor bitterness?

Am I quite unwilling to trust or fear?

Am I quite unwilling to be grateful or ungrateful? (looking at you, Eve)

Am I quite unwilling to have a pleasant attitude or be pessimistic?

You get the idea.

Obedient unwillingness is going to be costly on some level. Maybe uncomfortable or inconvenient.

But it might mean gut-wrenching grief…

Ever had to watch the backside of a wayward, young adult child after you’ve escorted him out the front door into the dark of night because you were quite unwilling to allow anymore reckless behavior? And with no assurance you’d ever see him again this side of heaven? 

To be quite unwilling on a matter when God has made His direction crystal clear is serious business.

But in the obedience, in the waiting for opportune time to make a move, God grows a fortified faith. 

Share a time when you’ve been quite unwilling to do or say something? How did it turn out?

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2 Comments

  1. Erin Lorence says:

    Love your tweet! Thanks for the encouragement.

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