14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Divisions in the Church
3 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 2:14–3:15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Team
One of my constant prayers has become, “Lord make me a team player.” I was trained from childhood, not as a team player, but as a piano player. Those are very different things. The most famous piano players did not play with others, and when they did, they were the leaders and the others simply followed them. In church, it is usually the piano or organ player that sets the tempo and key we are singing in. They lead and we follow. That kind of training made it difficult to follow others and let them set the pace, and I continue to struggle with that today.
Being a team player means you are not in control of the work, but you are responsible for it. That may seem like all the baggage without any of the perks from the individual perspective. However, from the big picture perspective we are able to do more and accomplish more as a team. A project is limited by the amount of control any one person has over it. Whoever has the most control will be the measure of it’s fruitfulness. If one person has all the control, the project will only be as successful as if that one individual did it all himself. If the control is divided between two people it will be as fruitful as those two could carry out themselves. As long as there is a clear goal, the fruitfulness multiplies by the number of people who have some degree of control over the situation.
Corinth did not understand this. They felt like you just need to put the most successful person in charge and then everyone should follow that person. Whether it was Peter, Apollos, Paul, or even those who claimed to follow Jesus… they were trying to follow leaders but not serve as a team. Contrary to their attitude, Paul rejoiced in the joy of teamwork. He recognized that the fruitfulness of that church was due in part to his work, in part to Apollos , and ultimately all being controlled by God. He understood that teamwork was not just about spreading around responsibility, but was actually more about handing the control back to God.
This is a struggle for leaders in churches, but it is also a major struggle for us in our families, though we may not want to admit it. In every family, there is usually one person who really calls the shots, and often another one who is most often upset with the leader because they would like to lead themselves but are not allowed. Then there are usually others who enjoy not being in charge and making decisions because that allows them to avoid responsibility.
This is not God’s intention for families. God wants us to all work together in our families: sharing the control and decisions, sharing the responsibility, working as a team and in doing so, allowing God to truly lead.
Reflection: Which role do you take in your family? Are you the decision maker? Are you the one who wants to make decisions but is not allowed? Are you the one who avoids decisions and the responsibility that comes with them? How are you teaching your family to be a team and to let God lead?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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