Since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly . . . acting like mere humans? — 1 Corinthians 3:3

1 Corinthians 3:3

We live in a world of discord, and Christians are not immune. “Discord” is another possible translation of the word for “quarreling.” Other options could be “contention,” “strife,” and “rivalry.” The idea here isn’t just intellectual debate, or even strong disagreement. Discord has to do with allowing our disagreements to separate us.

Christians are supposed to have the Spirit of God, who knows the deepest things of God. Over time, the Spirit helps us to understand God and to live more and more in line with God’s will.

When we don’t understand other Christians or we flat-out disagree with them, perhaps instead of trying to lecture them about what we think, we should engage in times of healthy and humble sharing and questioning together. We should try to recognize the signs of the Spirit’s work in each other and wonder what the Spirit is doing in the person we do not understand. The most likely scenario is that God has each of us on different learning paths, and perhaps by intertwining those paths, even uncomfortably, we could advance in the process of maturing in Christ.

In your relationships today, what can you do to work toward unity in the Spirit rather than discord?

Lord, we make slow progress against our vices and toward your virtues. Help us to recognize that people who have a sincere but different relationship with you might have some understanding that can help us grow closer to you. Amen.

Bible References

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Proverbs 1:8-9 

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

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