I had to feed you milk, not solid food, because you were not ready for it. And even now you are not ready for it, because you still live as the people of this world live. When there is jealousy among you and you quarrel with one another, doesn’t this prove that you belong to this world, living by its standards? When one of you says, ‘I follow Paul’, and another, ‘I follow Apollos’ – aren’t you acting like worldly people? (verses 2-4)
What a sad thing for a pastor to have to say to his people! Yet we are probably all like that at times. Satan attacks God’s church by creating dissension among its members. It’s easy for us to look at others and find fault with them; it’s also common for us to see a pastor as the pastor we remember, long after he has gone. When these things happen, we act as immature Christians.
Paul shows us, though, that even when we act immaturely we are still Christians. God doesn’t take his grace from us. But it hurts him to watch us arguing, being part of factions. His Spirit urges us to put our differences aside and see each other as we are as we stand at the foot of the cross: forgiven sinners who, in Christ, are God’s new creation.
Our task is to heal broken relationships, not to create them. We are to sow the seed of God’s word. Each in our own way, using our God-given gifts, eager to respond to the challenges God gives us. Then his church will grow.
Heavenly Father, help me to deal with my pride, and to be less easily hurt, so that I can get on with my task of speaking out for you. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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