1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (NRSV)
Chapter 3And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. Verse 2I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, Verse 3for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? Verse 4For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human?
Verse 5What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. Verse 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. Verse 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Verse 8The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. Verse 9For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.
Paul has a sad epiphany, or revelation, to make to the congregation in Corinth. “For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?” This seems a fitting revelation for us as well. We live in a jealous and quarrelsome time and place. Diversity becomes division. Valuing “our” leaders becomes reviling “their” leaders. Standing up for “our” cause leads to putting down “their” cause. But Paul has a wonderful revelation to us as well. God makes things happen and “we are God’s servants, working together”. How is God working through “us”? How is God working through “others”? Be open to how we fit together. Be respectful in how we disagree about goals or methods, aware that we might be more inclined to jealousy and quarreling than we are inclined to how God gives the growth.
Hard as it is, O God, reveal when we are behaving according to human inclinations, and, especially, reveal to us when we are behaving according to the working of your Holy Spirit.
Reveal your grace and determination to grow us into your servants, for there we will find purpose and joy. Amen.