In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians…something tells me that 1.) If Paul could have gone back there and talked to them in person instead of writing a letter, he probably would have. 2.) If he were there in person, he may have wanted to use a cattle prod on them to get their attention! Not really…but he does give them a “Good Talking To” as my granny Trotter used to say.
We all do and say foolish things, and yes Christians are included. In Chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians, Paul is frustrated to say the least with this community of faith, but he still loves them and calls them “friends.”
“…for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast.”
Do grown-ups act like little kids or even babies at times? Better yet, do Christian grown-ups act like little kids and babies at times? Yes! We certainly do.
“Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 MSG
Thus…that good old fashioned “talking to” that I had mentioned.
Whenever I feel like the world is against me, nobody likes me, everybody hates me and all I want to do is just eat worms…I really need to check my dealings with others and with God. Are they spiritual or unspiritual? If I’m feeling like everyone is against me, you can pretty much bet that my dealings are of the unspiritual nature.
Is it all about me? Or God? If it’s all about me, I will be acting infantile, grabbing for what makes me feel good and what makes me look important. Something to definitely to think about. Most assuredly something to pray about when we finally realize what we are doing.
I’ve mentioned before how I love The Message version of the bible, but I wanted to compare it to another version, the Holman Christian Standard Bible for this particular passage.
“Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 HCSB
This passage grabs me right in the gut! Just as I say to a little five year old, “You know better than that! That is unacceptable behavior”, our Papa God gently and lovingly says the same thing to us. Our unspiritual dealings with God and with others make us fleshly and like an unbeliever. Nothing to be proud of or make God proud of. But you know what… He still loves us and wants the best for us, and calls us His friend!
Just as Paul loved the Corinthians and called them his friends, even when they messed up, our Papa God sill loves us and calls us His friend when we mess up.
“Thank you Papa God for loving me unconditionally. Your love doesn’t leave me, or walk away from me. Your love doesn’t change like the seasons, or fly away like the wind…it is constant. You love me even though I act infantile at times and want my way not yours, and I’m so thankful for that! Grow me to be more like you and less like myself.” ~ Amen