Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk to you as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? Vv. 1-3
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Vv16-17.
I always think of God’s church, His people, when I read this chapter, and how good we are at feuding amongst ourselves. And I just have to wonder how much that grieves the Holy Spirit. Not only does it grieve the Holy Spirit when God’s people argue and fight, but it destroys our witness to the world. Who wants to belong to a body that can’t even get along with each other?
All of us have seen it. Churches can get into the silliest arguments over carpet color, over whether to use screens or hymnals, whether the preacher should wear a tie on Sunday morning or dress more casually, or whether we should sing one type of song over another. And we all laugh at the silliness of these feuds, until our preferences are in danger. Then it becomes “our passion”, “our belief”, “our …” I know. I have had my preferences overruled on many occasions. And you know what? We still preached the gospel, people still got saved, lives were still changed, even though my felt needs were not being met. Funny how God can still work when things are not done the way I would have done them.
My oldest daughter and I have had many disagreements on how things should go in the church, or how a situation should be handled. One day it dawned on me why that is so. My area of giftedness is teaching and prophecy. I believe in speaking truth into people’s lives, and really feel they should act on that truth. My daughter’s area of giftedness is mercy. She always operates out of that gift and a need to redeem people. We both have the same end in mind, but we go about it in totally different ways. We talked about that, and together we help each other see from another perspective. I think that has made us each better. We can each do what God has called us to do because we collaborate.
When we disagree with one another we need to be careful that we are not acting out of our sinful natures, and we need to remember that God has called us to work together, a body of believers who are carrying out a single mission—the redemption of mankind. All of us, collectively, are the temple of God, One Body, controlled by One Holy Spirit. If we allow Him to control us, we can work together to achieve His mission here on earth.
Today’s author: Sharon Warner