1 Corinthians 7:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 7:32, NIV: I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:32, ESV: I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:32, KJV: But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

1 Corinthians 7:32, NASB: But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;

1 Corinthians 7:32, NLT: I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please him.

1 Corinthians 7:32, CSB: I want you to be without concerns. The unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord--how he may please the Lord.

What does 1 Corinthians 7:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is making the case that unmarried Christians should remain unmarried. He has made clear that this is not a command from God—those who marry are not guilty of sin (1 Corinthians 1:25–28). He has also made two broad exceptions to his personal preference. Those who "burn" with sexual "passion" should marry instead of being in a constant struggle against immorality. And those who are betrothed or engaged should follow through on their commitment. Everyone else, though, should seriously consider remaining single.

Paul gives a clear explanation in this and the following verses. He wants the Corinthian Christians to be free from anxieties or concern. In this context, this does not seem to mean anxiety in the sense of being overly worried all the time. Those in Christ can live free from the emotional state of anxiety no matter what their circumstances (Philippians 4:4–9).

Instead, Paul seems to be addressing a person's attention and focus. An unmarried man makes pleasing the Lord the full focus of his life. In this sense, he is "anxious about the things of the Lord." Those who are married, in contrast, have a spouse to consider (1 Corinthians 7:33).