Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man

Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church.  – St Thomas Aquinas
(Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9)
Brothers and sisters,
I could not talk to you as spiritual people,
but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.
I fed you milk, not solid food,
because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now,
for you are still of the flesh.
While there is jealousy and rivalry among you,
are you not of the flesh, and walking
according to the manner of man?
Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another,
"I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?

What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul?
Ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
He who plants and he who waters are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
For we are God's co-workers;
you are God's field, God's building.

How can we avoid the Corinthians’ dilemma and move from milk to solid food? How can we overcome the divisions and judgments that keep us “still of the flesh”?

By finding practical ways to live according to the love of God that we have experienced. If there is someone in your life who always seems to annoy you, respond in love. Pray for the person every day, asking God to bless him or her. Persist in prayer, and you’ll find your own heart changing—even if the other person never changes at all!

Or, if you often find yourself in conversations that lead to arguments and division, make it a point to be an agent of unity. Look for ways to change the topic. Bring up something positive or encouraging. Speak words of acceptance and patience, words that lift people up instead of drag them down. Just a little shift in the conversation can open the door for the Spirit to work and for love to prevail.

We really can all grow in our relationship with Christ if we will it. It simply is our choice!

If we learn to let God’s grace and mercy flow in us, it can have a powerful effect on the way we treat other people. 

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