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

1 Corinthians 7:7, NIV: I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

1 Corinthians 7:7, ESV: I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

1 Corinthians 7:7, KJV: For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

1 Corinthians 7:7, NASB: Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each has his own gift from God, one in this way, and another in that.

1 Corinthians 7:7, NLT: But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.

1 Corinthians 7:7, CSB: I wish that all people were as I am. But each has his own gift from God, one person has this gift, another has that.

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

Paul has made clear in the previous verses that celibacy—life without sex—is not meant for every Christian. Paul finds great benefit in it, wishing others could be blessed in the same way. However, this variation in sexual interest is by God's design. Paul states honestly that he wishes, personally—not as God's command—that everyone was like him. Paul was apparently unmarried and celibate, and he saw the absence of a driving need for marriage and sex as a gift from God.

In the following verses, Paul will describe the advantages of being single for those who are in Christ. Primarily, it frees them up to focus more of their time and energy on serving Christ (1 Corinthians 7:32–34).

It's important to notice that Paul calls this a gift, however. In no way does the Bible suggest unmarried and celibate Christians are more spiritual than married Christians. In fact, this passage will discourage those who "burn with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:9) from remaining single. Paul does not want anyone to try to overcome a God-given desire for sexuality out of a mistaken idea that lifelong abstinence is the best path for every person, in all cases. God has simply given the celibate and the married different gifts, not a lesser purpose.