Today I was reading in 1 Corinthians 3 about divisions in the church of Corinth. It is hard to wrap my mind around how there seem to be so many divisions within the church today. At the same time I recognize the reality Christians still being sinful people (called righteous and holy through Christ alone) coming together to worship God. We will never be perfect this side of heaven. This may come as a huge surprise to some. Or may even be frustrating. I say this only because I am at heart a perfectionist. Yes, it is true. If there was a perfectionist anonymous group I suppose I would join. But here's what God has taught me. He doesn't want me to be perfect, he wants me to humble. He doesn't want me pursue perfection, he wants me to rely on him. In relying on Him I will become more like Him, in becoming more like him I will please him more.
God is so good knowing that we need help in being the children he desires us to be that he gives us the Holy Spirit who Jesus calls our counselor, a Spirit of power not timidity, a Spirit that helps us love others as Christ has loved us, a Spirit of self-discipline helping us honor God and to have protection from the emptiness of sin by following God's commandments.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as 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?"
As I share my relationship with the Lord and my love for the Lord with other people one common thing they share with me is that they have seen so much hypocrisy and pride in the church that they would rather not attend and certainly they do not want to become like the Christians they have seen. I always remind them that Christians still need forgiveness too. Christians are not perfect and the one we should all look to as our model is Christ. However, that doesn't excuse our immaturity as the body of believers.
We all have a lot of growing up to do. So let this be a year of the body of Christ being the body of Christ. Let's put pride aside, walk in the humility Jesus displayed in his life, and be an encouragement not a stumbling block to those searching for the truth. Let's thank God that we have a counselor to help us grow up!
Happy New Year's!