Quarreling with the Siblings

Old Testament Reading: Leviticus 13 & 14
Psalms Reading: Psalm 53
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 6

Like most human beings I have encountered, I enjoy being right, and I like others to know when I am right.  Oftentimes, I would be willing to go the distance to ensure that others are aware of the fact that I am right.  This includes both people inside and outside of church.  If I shared a belief in the risen Christ with someone, that would not stop me from getting into a long argument… erm… I mean debate about who the greatest athlete of all time is.  Unfortunately, I am quite sure that I’m not the only one who has been there before.

Evidently, this was an issue with the church in Corinth as well, as they even took it to another level.  Christian brothers and sisters were hiring third parties to determine who was in the wrong and who wasn’t, as they were filing lawsuits against each other.  What sort of image were they giving of the church to outsiders?  This was humiliating for the church to have to hire a third party to settle a dispute between two people who were called to love one another.  Paul brings this issue to light and shames them for doing such a thing.

Although many of us have probably never filed an official lawsuit with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, how often do we quarrel with our brothers and sisters in Christ?  What sort of image are we giving of the church to outsiders when we quarrel with each other?  Often, when it comes to disagreements between two people, it is a matter of preference: Who’s the greatest athlete?  What color carpet is the best?  How loud should the music be?  Don’t let simple preferences like these cause a division among yourselves – there is no need for that.  On the other hand, we are called to judge our Christian brothers and sisters when it comes to an objective right or wrong, as Paul states in chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians.  However, more often than not, I have seen Christians quarreling over preferences rather than an objective right or wrong.  Don’t let that be you.

Therefore, I encourage you to not let a division of opinions get in the way of your relationship with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t let these small differences of opinion snowball into quarreling amongst each other.  When we digress into these small differences of opinions, we lose sight of the big picture.  What is the big picture, you may ask?  Paul highlights this in verse 11, “And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God,” (1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV).  We were all sinners, but now we are a new creation.  We have been washed and forgiven of our sin, set apart from the world, and made right in the eyes of God.  

Let our life be a demonstration of the forgiveness, sanctification, and justification that we have received rather than divulging and arguing about our differences of opinion.  When this successfully takes place, we will give a much better picture of what church looks like to outsiders.

-Kyle McClain

Reflection Questions

  1. When has your desire to be right gotten you into trouble – or led you into disagreements that Paul would not approve of? What could you have done instead?
  2. How does 1 Corinthians 6:11 change your outlook on disputes and the “need” to be right?
  3. What do you learn about God in your reading of His Word today?

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