What’s Changing?


What is something in your life that you really want to pursue—something you are willing to sacrifice for to make the change? You understand the potential benefit to you, or possibly even to your family, that this change would bring.  You ensure you make time for this thing, no matter what else comes along. It’s not just a good thing you’d like to do. What must you nail down to ensure change in your life and lifestyle? What change is imperative to you, that you consider a “must”? And at what cost are you willing to make the change?

  • What is the highest priority item in your life that you are trying to change?


17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise, he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.


  1. According to verse 17, are the conditions in our personal lives random? Who has personally assigned our stations in life to us?
  2. What two examples did Paul cite as issues that the Corinthians wanted to change (vss. 18-19, 21-22)? What larger interests did these desired changes represent?
  3. Why did Paul minimize these beneficial changes (vss. 19-21)? What was Paul helping the Corinthian Christians to understand?
  4. If changing our status isn’t our highest priority, then what is our main pursuit (vs. 17)? Conversely, are we supposed to simply drift along with no goals for self-improvement (vss. 21, 24)?
  5. How does this passage expose your perspective of any changes you are seeking to make in your own life? Where do you need to back off of changing some external conditions in your life, and just focus on living out your life in Christ?


At first glance, this passage seems to say we should just sit back and not change a thing. Actually, God wants us to change—radically! But the point is that we don’t miss the bigger picture by pursuing lesser issues. Fulfilling our calling in Christ is more important than our pursuit of personal improvement, position, or significance. The goal is living more like Jesus wherever we are. God demands we change, but not for second-rate items that won’t really satisfy and don’t really count for anything. Anything that supersedes living out our lives in Christ simply isn’t worth the change.

  • Ask God to help you identify both the good and bad things that distract you from purposefully living out your calling in Christ.
  • Ask God to realign your priorities to remain faithful to him, whatever your current condition.