If so, this proves that you are living your lives centered on yourselves, dominated by the mind-set of the flesh, and behaving like unbelievers. For when you divide yourselves up in groups - a “Paul group” and an “Apollos group” - you’re acting like people without the Spirit’s influence.”
The early church in Corinth was struggling. Like every major city throughout history, it was cutting-edge modern, highly individualistic. New believers were struggling to make their faith work in their diverse culture. As Paul wrote to this body of believers, he wasn’t trying to get them to conform to his identity— Paul was writing to help them understand what it means to be God’s children.
Our emotions are like the eggs in a recipe. They serve an important purpose and function. Our emotions are divinely designed to provide structure and stability to our faith journey, and to our part in community. When we ignore our emotions and let them run unchecked, we become out of balance and unstable. In Paul’s words, we “act like people without the Spirit’s influence.”
We are triune beings; we have a spirit, a soul, and a body. Our soul is the seat of our emotions. It’s our passions, our pains, and our thoughts— all of which direct our attitudes and actions. Jealousy, comparison, offense all are fruit of our soul. But they are bad fruit. When our soul is wounded and left unchecked, it wreaks havoc on ourselves, and our relationships.
Paul’s word to the believers in Corinth is to bring ourselves back under the Spirit’s influence. Practically, we bring those wounded areas to Jesus and let Holy Spirit heal them. This is the process of being Spirit-led (Galatians 5:18). Being Spirit-led, not soul-led, is how we live together in community, united even in our diversity. Allowing Holy Spirit to tend to the wounds in our soul keeps the structure and stability.
Jealousy, comparison, and offense are healed with forgiveness and stepping back into Grace. Without forgiving and releasing people, we are forgetting the glue that holds us together: the blood of Jesus.
Where do you need to step back into Holy Spirit’s influence? Who do you need to forgive and release back to Jesus? Maybe you need to forgive someone in your family, or even yourself. Maybe you need to forgive someone at your church, or your boss at work.
Repent from giving into those comparing and judging thoughts. Give them to Jesus. Ask Him what He has for you. Ask Jesus to give you eyes to see things the way He sees them, and come back under Holy Spirit’s influence.
Memory Verse: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
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