Devotion - September 6, 2019

1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Divisions in the Church

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul’, or ‘I belong to Apollos’, or ‘I belong to Cephas’, or ‘I belong to Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

Devotion by Lynne Buell

The modern-day church is not much different from the ancient church of Corinth, and Paul’s strong words to the people demonstrated his concern about the possibility of a divided church.

It’s impossible for a community to think alike about everything. We all have different likes and dislikes, points of view, and priorities.

Isn’t church supposed to be the best place to go to avoid conflict and power struggles? How are conflicts handled within the groups and congregation? Do we approach a meeting with a mind-set that our way is the best way, or do we go in with an open mind and the intent to listen with a respectful and gentle introspective? If folks handled decisions (or conflict) in a humble, gentle and reflective manner, we would be so much better off. And that is the sign of a healthy church. A healthy church can then help other people get healthier.