Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? (1-3).
Paul’s chapters are so rich, so many truths about our God and living as a child of God. This morning it was the sentences above that penetrated my heart.
Some people in the church seem to be more mature than others. Sometimes it is due to longevity as a Christ follower. A new follower hasn’t had time to learn and grow. Unfortunately, some long timers never seem to grow. And sometimes I get the impression that it is not ‘right’ to talk about this in church.
Paul, howeve,r states it head on, and while he doesn’t give a solution, I believe one will come to light as we move through the letter.
First, Paul confronts the Corinthians that they, in general, are not living as ‘spirit-empowered’ followers, rather they are still worldly, mere infants he calls them. His inference is that they should be far more spiritual than they are… it is as if he is saying, ‘get on with growing’!
And his indicator is behavior… not conversions or outreach, not spiritual gifts and manifestations, but behavior. Now quite possibly he could have addressed other lacks but what he was confronting was a behavior issue. And in that behavior issue he saw their ‘childishness.’
So this discussion took me to an internal place where God began probing my maturity. Am I a person of the spirit or am I still an infant in Christ? As I probed through the Spirit, God used the grid of behavior. Am I quarrelsome, need my own way, divisive, prideful, mean spirited or full of mean words… and the like?
How I behave toward and with people matters… and it matters a lot.
I have much to chew on and many places in my life where I need significant growth….
Lord, open my eyes to how I treat people. Show me, Lord, my strengths and weaknesses that I may grow in the power of the Spirit in all aspects of my life as I live for You. I pray this is Jesus’ name. Amen.