It’s easy to become desensitized to Christian persecution in other parts of the world because of what we see in the news. Images of beheadings and burnings of people of the faith are so far removed from our comfortable existence here in America. But, when you pause and think about the price our brothers and sisters are paying for following Jesus, it should move us to pray for them.
Paul wrote a harsh letter to the Corinthians rebuking them for being self-absorbed and insensitive that reminded me how we, too, can easily follow in their footsteps.
1 Cor. 11: 17-22 (NIV) In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
What is our attitude when we come to church? Do we come and fight with one another? What are the ways we don’t show each other love and kindness?
Paul says that we desecrate the table of the Lord in the ways we talk about each other. What we say about others shows us the truth about our hearts.
When we come together and:
- Compete with each other
- Criticize each other
- Have division with each other
God is not pleased with this.
We must ask ourselves if we talk in a way that is cutting, harsh, mean, or unkind. Do we have envy in our heart towards others? Are you a person who tears down or builds up? Do we criticize the church? Do you dislike people who are different than you in their ethnicity or economic background? Or maybe you don’t actually say things that are mean, but you stay away from them. Maybe you don’t say anything at all, but with your silence, you let them know that they don’t fit here.
Paul also tells the Corinthians they desecrate the Table of the Lord in how they treat each other. How do we treat others who are new? Do we make them feel ashamed?
When we come together and:
- Think that church is our private supper time
- Haven’t learned to feed ourselves spiritually in our own homes
- Neglect the needs of those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty around us
We’re not treating each other in ways that are pleasing to the Lord!
We often look for a church that meets our needs, but we should be going to a church that has needs we can meet.
Let’s ask God for opportunities to love and serve others today.