By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 07/16/20
Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-22.
The Christians at Corinth couldn’t agree on much. They loved divisiveness in the church. As a friend of mine used to say, “It’s likely that if you put four of them in a room, you’d get five opinions.” These Corinthians were in love with their own opinions; they preferred their own way. Instead of serving each other, they looked for opportunities to stir up dissension. Instead of loving one another, each was looking out for their own interests.
The Corinthian church was missing the blessing of Christian community. They were not using their disagreements as opportunities to practice the love of Christ; they were not humbling themselves so that they might grow in godliness by the power of the Holy Spirit. We must learn from their mistake and recognize that God has given us a community of believers with innumerable personalities and ideas for our spiritual growth.
Some people will get under our skin, just as we will get on the nerves of others. God uses our experiences together as fallen sinners saved by grace to sanctify us. Our interactions and disagreements can become a refining fire in our lives if we together seek God’s will and love one another deeply—even when we don’t want to. Remember: To be purified, gold must pass through the fire. So, let’s give thanks for the body of believers, especially those with whom we struggle to get along. God uses our Christian brothers and sisters to refine us into His likeness.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that the body of believers is a source of sanctification as I look to Your Word to guide my relationships. Give me a deep love for my fellow believers even when we butt heads. May I extend grace, remembering the grace I daily receive from Your hands. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it” (1 Corinthians 11:18).