1 Corinthians 3:5 “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”
My thoughts: Notice how Paul uses the word “what” instead of “who”. There is a big difference between the question “What am I?” and “Who am I?” The word “what” is used to identify an object or function. The word “who” is used to identify a person. In this verse, Paul affirms that he and Apollos are mere mortals in humble service. Paul did not commend or encourage his passionate followers. Instead, he affirmed their misdirected passion and foolishness. He stated the power of God to work in and through His humble servants. The church of Corinth emphasized the function of men instead of the power of God. Despite the church fight over Paul and Apollos, the believers in Corinth trusted their leaders because the men developed in God. It is for a man to know who he is and for the world to see what he becomes. People will not really believe what we say until they see what we do. Who we become in God determines the authenticity of what we do for Him. What we do is a result of who we become. People will not believe what we do until we understand why we do it. In the same way, we will never understand the reason of our doing until we understand who we are in Christ. The question “Why?” asks “What is the purpose?”
Good leaders do not speak to a man’s potential. They speak to a man’s purpose in God. If a leader speaks to a man’s potential before the individual understands his purpose, he might see the plan of God without understanding to application necessary for its fulfillment. Before we discover our potential in Christ, we must understand our purpose in Him! Our purpose is servanthood to the most High God! Both Paul and Apollos were great servants for God because they were great servers of God. Are we content with being “servants through whom other people come to trust God” or do we demand a more sophisticated title? Do we want to become humble servants who live in surrender to God?
Before we ask ourselves “What am I doing?” we must first ask “Who am I becoming?” Is God an addition to our lives, or is He the center of our lives? Church attenders without an identity in Christ are people with an unlocked potential in Him. We cannot be what God is calling us to be until we become who He is calling us to become. As a child must learn to walk before he can run so a man must become before he can be.