Since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly . . . acting like mere humans?
— 1 Corinthians 3:3
We live in a world of discord, and Christians are not immune. “Discord” is another possible translation of the word for “quarreling.” Other options could be “contention,” “strife,” and “rivalry.” The idea here isn’t just intellectual debate, or even strong disagreement. Discord has to do with allowing our disagreements to separate us.
Christians are supposed to have the Spirit of God, who knows the deepest things of God. Over time, the Spirit helps us to understand God and to live more and more in line with God’s will.
When we don’t understand other Christians or we flat-out disagree with them, perhaps instead of trying to lecture them about what we think, we should engage in times of healthy and humble sharing and questioning together. We should try to recognize the signs of the Spirit’s work in each other and wonder what the Spirit is doing in the person we do not understand. The most likely scenario is that God has each of us on different learning paths, and perhaps by intertwining those paths, even uncomfortably, we could advance in the process of maturing in Christ.
In your relationships today, what can you do to work toward unity in the Spirit rather than discord?
Lord, we make slow progress against our vices and toward your virtues. Help us to recognize that people who have a sincere but different relationship with you might have some understanding that can help us grow closer to you. Amen.