Scripture: 2 Cor. 12: 19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
Observation: The things that hurt the early church are still there in our modern church and still just as hurtful.
Application: We see the same thing today as Paul was dealing with back in the first century church. Quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder are all weapons that the enemy uses against the body of Christ today and they are still quite effective at dividing us among ourselves.
The problems we face, I think mainly stems from our own pride. We want our opinions to be considered and valued in every decision that’s made. We want our feelings and needs to be considered, and we want our input and service to be valued and appreciated. And these are all good things and I understand why we want them, but when we don’t get them as often as we feel we should, or as much as we feel we should, pride steps in and causes quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
So what can we as The Church do to try and squelch this problem? Perhaps a couple of things can help us here; 1. We can try harder to recognize and value each person regardless of age, sex, social status, or position in the church. 2. As individuals we can try (just a little harder) to get over ourselves, and toughen up our easily upset feelings. We need to realize that we are a church full of imperfect people who are going to make mistakes – being Christian doesn’t mean we’re perfect as we all know. We also have to come to a point in our spiritual journey that we get the revelation in our hearts that its not all about us, its all about Jesus and the Glory of God.
If it was all about me as a preacher, then the Church would collapse if I left; But it doesn’t, and wouldn’t, and won’t. The same goes for anyone else. We may feel that we do more than anyone else, and that our opinion should be valued higher than all others, but again that is our pride working against us, and against God’s will. The main thing we have to know is that the work of the Church, is God’s work, and we should do it as if we are serving Him, because that’s what we ARE doing.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
Help me each day to remember that the work I’m doing is Your work, for your glory. If my pride begins to get in the way, and cause a problem in Your work, I ask that you purge me of that pride and set me back on the path and purpose of fulfilling your will for your glory. Thank you for your Son Jesus who died on the cross for all our sins, and who rose again on that first Easter morning.
Yield: I yield my pride, – I submit myself humbly to Your work Lord!