1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
God help us.
Envy, strife, and divisions in the church shows how shallow and selfish we can be. How many times have we all made this mistake in some form or fashing? All three of these traits usually are rooted in selfishness. If we know anything about selfishness, we know it is sin. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil as Paul wrote, but selfishness is the root of all evil.
How can anyone speak to people like that as spiritual when they are acting like the world? The world envies, fights, and divides over the smallest things. Christians who act like that are like little babies who can only drink milk instead of eating solid food. If you are a parent and have had a baby, you know one thing. Babies are only concerned with self. It is only as we mature and grow where we put ourselves aside and begin to think about others. The Christians here at Corinth are acting like they did prior to Christ instead of living as Christ. Jesus is the supreme example of self-sacrifice. Instead of being like Him, these are selfish Christians who have not grown in Christ.
We are to love one another as He loves us. We know that Christian love is not selfish or self seeking (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). The love Paul describes in chapter 13 is the type of love that we all should be practicing in our churchs. There will always be problems at church, but it is our duty to do our best to not be the one causing the problem. If there is a problem we should confront it with the love of Christ, and act in the love that Paul tells us about. I love my many brothers and sisters because I know that I am a mistake making sinner saved by God’s grace. If it wasn’t for Him, I would be a terribly, selfish man.
No one is perfect. I am not perfect. Like I have said before if there was a perfect church I had better not attend or I’d mess it up. All we can hope to do is live out the life of Christ in our relationships and actions at church. Pray for our brothers and sisters, love them and bear with them. We all make mistakes, and I know I have had to be loved when I have messed up.
When there are problems we can always look at it as an opportunity to show Christ’s love to our brothers. While we were still sinners, Jesus loved us and died on the cross for us. We can do the same, dwelling with one another in love and understanding. Working on solving problems together instead of fighting over them. Part of Christ’s love is making peace and helping others to grow. That may mean we have to confront selfishness, envy, divisions, and strife among the brothers.
Above all else as Paul has written: we are to be one in mind and action for Jesus wants us to live in unity and love. We are to live the life Christ called us to. We should examine ourselves for these types of problems. When we see a problem recognize it, and work on changing it. Recognizing there is a problem can be the most difficult step. Pray about the problem in your heart. Do your best to lay aside selfishness. Look at the other side of the issue. Pray about it some more. Go to your brother and make things right. Humble yourself and apologize when you are wrong. Forgive your brother and love him if he is wrong. Move forward in your walk together.