This question echoes in my heart today. I read it last night with the rest of the chapter in that way I really shouldn’t read the Bible– without anticipation or expectation.
Paul is in the middle of making an argument to his readers, and this verse fits nicely there. For me, however, it was like a punch in the stomach (or at least, what I imagine a punch in the stomach would be like).
For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7 NASB)
What do you have that you did not receive? The rhetorical question became personal and the answer is clear: nothing. There is nothing in my life that I have not received…so why do I lay claim to things mentally and feel justified in my indignation when “my” time goes differently than planned?
So I pray through this verse again and again, asking that the Word Who became flesh will change me and my heart. For all I have received, may I be truly grateful…and less territorial!