Summary: Remember, the source of most quarrels begins within one’s own desires. James writes, "You quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on yo
What are some of the best ways to relate to carnal Christians?
Illustration: Where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? —1 Corinthians 3:3
Why do we hear of Christians who are pitted against Christians over such issues as the color of the carpet, the thermostat setting, and whether the choir should wear robes.
Pastors have been run out of town during these kinds of arguments. Christians have cut off friendships. Churches have split because folks argued about such things.
Why does this happen? People who get caught up in petty squabbles have lost sight of what a God’s design for His body is for. The church is the place we go for worship, for reading the Word, for singing to God’s glory, for serving others, and for helping one another to grow. It’s supposed to be a place of love, forgiveness, and encouragement.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, he described the unity of purpose (4:1-16) that should help us to work through disagreements without creating divisions. He knew all too well how selfish desires, personal agendas, and playing favorites could create havoc (1 Corinthians 3:1-9). (Branson, Our Daily Bread)
1. Let everyone know the advantages of being controlled by the Spirit versus the disadvantages of living according to one’s fleshly desires. Paul writes, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry, and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy,fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal. 5:19-22)
Illustration: A former commander of the Imperial Russian Navy said that he went to London during World War I for training. There he learned how to fly one of three dirigibles that Russia had bought from England.
But first he had to learn to fly a balloon. He recalled getting into the gondola and seeing all four sides covered with sandbags. To begin the ascent, sand was released until the huge balloon slowly lifted off the ground. As more sand went over the side, the craft ascended higher.
The man then applied this to our relationship with the Lord: "Now that I’m a Christian, I understand that when God begins to clean up my heart, I get closer and closer to Him."
Hebrews 12:1 and 1 John 2:15 express that same spiritual truth. Carrying this world’s weight hampers our fellowship with the Lord and keeps our hearts from rising in love for Him. John wrote that we cannot love the world and love God at the same time. How often we have proven from experience just how true that is!
Selfish attitudes, besetting sins, and worldly cares keep us from getting off the ground spiritually. But when we lay them aside, we experience the uplifting joy of fellowship with the Father. --MRD II (Our Daily Bread)
2. Encourage people to not be argumentative through your own fine example. Paul writes, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal. 5:25,26)