This statement is so interesting because it can be used in so many different ways. One time I did laundry and left a red shirt in with other clothes and then I made a lovely pink shirt — let it be so. At the DMV I was in a line that would have taken all day, but a kind employee had grace and let me cut in line (to the chagrin of the 200 people in line) — let it be so. Good, bad or other — the phrase can be used to just explain this happened especially when I can’t do anything about it. Pastor Paul, however, used it in a way that encapsulated Corinth culture, and applied to divorce/separation.

In 1 Corinthians 7:15 Paul says, “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” After statements about remaining together for God’s design for marriage, for holiness, for the good of the family; Paul now says let it be so … God has called you to peace. Why does Paul make this ambiguous statement? Because his hope is to allow everyone to have peace with one another if you can (Romans 12:18).  He is saying to people who came into the church with unequally yoked marriages do everything you can to remain together (remember these people did not grow up in a church!), By remaining together it would allow God to work. However, sometimes you have to “let it be so” if your unbelieving spouse leaves, for the sake of peace with others and unity. We are to strive for peace and unity because Jesus modeled that for us. He came into this fallen world to bring peace with one another and of course with God. He did this to show us the need for understanding during difficult times.

When the pain is unbearable, when life doesn’t make sense, when people hurt us, when choices send shock waves, we do everything we can, and then we look to God. Jesus came to give peace during tribulation (John 16:33). We are to turn to God in prayer in everything so our hearts and minds can be protected in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-8).

I think Paul said “let it be so” knowing he would be asking believers to choose peace in the midst of heartbreak. He knew the God of peace would be there in the hurtful and struggling times. There is hope in those times and there are people here to help.

Jeremy Johnson
Family Pastor

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