September 04, 2008

Signs of Maturity - Part 1

In 1 Corinthians Paul is writing to a dysfunctional church - a church he started. He is writing to chastise them. His main complaint with them is that they are acting like babies. They are immature. They have not developed spiritually as they should have by now. Chapter 3:1-3 says

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-- mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?"

Paul is concerned with these baby Christians. He feels they should be ready for the deeper truths of Scripture, but they still haven't mastered the basics. This same problem still exists today in churches all across America. I wanted to let you know, since I am sure your church doesn't have this problem! The problem is displayed in the actions and behaviors of people in the church - people who claim to be believers, followers of Christ.

There is jealousy - people want what is not theirs to have for themselves. This could be positions in the church, the color of carpet they prefer, the abilities and gifts of others that they have not been given. Strife arise out of this jealousy. People start talking, complaining, gossiping. People use words to try and get what they want. And the result every time is division. People will take sides. People will choose their favorite.

It ends up looking like the nursery school room, where every toddler wants their own way, right now. Every kid in there wants the toy, nobody wants to share, nobody wants to put themselves out of the picture, allowing someone else to go first.

It breaks my heart (and God's heart too) to see people who profess to be believers fighting and quarrel over things that don't even matter. In my next post, we're going to look at the marks of a mature believer. Are you acting like a spiritual baby? Or are you maturing in your faith?

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