“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. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
As believers in Christ we are called to be different. We are commissioned to live different lives, to speak differently, to have a different attitude…to be more like Christ. But how many times do we lay that difference that Jesus has made in us aside to live and behave like the rest of the world?
In the second part of the verse above we are being told that if there is jealousy and quarreling among us, we are being wordly. Ouch! We are called to yes, live IN this world, but to not be OF this world. Phillipians 2:14-15 says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’”
The rest of the world is caught up in jealousy, fighting, grumbling and talking bad about others. We see it every day, especially now with all of the political bashing. We hear it at work, we see it on Facebook, we see it in magazines and all over tv, and our families suffer because we haven’t tamed our tongues. I think the last part is the hardest one to deal with. Of course we care about our family and the ones closest to us. But how many times do we talk to and treat eachother (as spouses, as parents, as siblings, as sons or daughters) in a way that is worse than anyone else? Whether it be with our tone of voice or the hurtful things that we say or constant nagging, complaining or arguing, it is wrong. The Word is telling us we are living in the infancy of our faith if we continue to quarrel like this. Just drinking milk like a baby. Not that I don’t like to have a nice cold, glass of milk every once in a while…but I know I wasn’t meant to continue to live off of milk! I want the meat and potatoes, the bread and the muffins..and pie! There is so much more that the Lord wants to work out of us, and to put into us as His children. He wants all people to see and hear a difference from us, those that have a relationship with Him. We are His mouthpiece, His vessels. If we are behaving and sounding like the rest of the world, then we aren’t being a light to that world. Matthew 5:16 tells us to let our lights so shine before men that they can see our good deeds and glorify our father in heaven. What kind of example are we setting? Are people seeing God’s goodness in our lives and ultimately glorifying Him?
And so, I will wrap up my thoughts with God’s thoughts…because He says it best.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Titus 2:11-12
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“He who loves a quarrel loves sin.” Proverbs 17:19
“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3
“An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” Proberbs 29:22
(This next one makes me laugh a little bit, but it is true!)
“Better to live on the corner of a roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife!” Proverbs 21:9 (I added the “!” 🙂 )
There are so, so many more verses that I could write down…Proverbs is just filled with them. I know the Lord is challenging me with all of His words, though. If you are challenged as well, ask the Holy Spirit to help you today, and in the days to come, to live a godly life in an ungodly world: in words…actions…and deeds!