Their struggle over spiritual gifts surely has to be the most obvious example. They actually rated them as to importance, using, of course, carnal measurements--the flashier and showier the better. So Paul spends most of chapter 12 telling them that no one is more important than anyone else. Everyone is useful in the body of Christ, and if any one of them was not there, something would be obviously missing. In chapter 14, when their sense of importance is leading to a confused and disorderly assembly because none will yield his “gift” time to another, he actually gives them specific instructions about how to order things, all of which are pure common sense if you have the correct object in mind, the edification of the church rather than the glorification of the individual. He even spells it out several times: if there is no edification, let them keep silence.
And of course, there is the pitiful business with suing one another, letting things of this physical life effect how they dealt with spiritual brothers and sisters.
Those poor Corinthians at whom we so often shake our heads are not the only ones with these problems. We are beset by the same weaknesses, and the same feelings. In fact, as I was reading and thinking about these things it suddenly struck me that almost any time I take an idle remark as a personal attack, it falls right into the same category.
I believe there is such a thing as being sinfully sensitive. Think about it. How many times could Jesus have “gotten his feelings hurt” or “felt insulted?” You could make a list as long as an entire book in the Bible, but he did not allow his feelings to keep him from completing a mission that was more important than anything else in the world.
When I commit myself to being his disciple, don’t I promise to follow his example? The problem with being too sensitive is that it causes me to stop what I am doing and spend time on nothing but myself, usually moping or pouting, or even beginning a campaign against the other person. Nothing anyone says to me or about me, or that I might even possibly construe to be about me, is an excuse for setting myself up as more important than my mission as Jesus’ disciple. As a mature Christian, those things should roll right off me, because my concern is God’s glorification, not my own. That is what spirituality is all about. And if we cannot even begin to get a handle on it here, why should we be allowed to live in that exalted state for an Eternity?
Something to think about as we interact with one another today.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves, Phil 2:3.The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult, Prov 12:16.
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