The Potato Peelings of the World

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 4:8-15

We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day. (v. 13)

Paul was a passionate man. It certainly comes through in his writing, and nowhere more than in this letter to Corinth. He could be tender, wise, ruthless, even sarcastic – whatever was needed to push the Corinthians towards Christ.

The Corinthians relished power. They would cozy up to anyone who had it or promised it. They thought themselves entitled to the best the world had to offer, as if they were members of the privileged class. The Corinthians claimed to be wise, strong, rich, famous, and powerful, the royalty of the Christian community. Meanwhile, Paul admitted that he was foolish, weak, poor, infamous, and powerless. As author Eugene Peterson puts it, Paul and his little company of missionaries were like the “potato peelings” of the world.

Did Paul deserve to be considered garbage? Not a chance. But Paul did not care. He realized that it came with the territory. Once a person chooses to love, he or she is bound to face trouble. Paul chose to become a spiritual parent to immature people. His suffering was worth it because he loved them. Paul was only imitating his Lord. Are we?


Lord, give us patience when we are called to love those who are hard to love. Amen.`