Day 171 – Personal Conflict

Today’s reading: 1 Cor 2

Paul seems to have a real problem with this one guy in Corinth.  Although he doesn’t say exactly what the dispute is about it seems that the two are really at odds over something and it is an important lesson for us.  You see, we won’t always get along with the bishops.  Everything won’t always be warm and fuzzy.  Sometimes it will just be a personality conflict.  Sometimes it will something substantive.  Whatever the cause being a Christians does not mean that our personal lives will always be free of conflict.  What matters is how we handle it.

Paul seems to have avoided a visit to Corinth to avoid the conflict.  He says that even though the rebellious individual in Corinth ultimately caused hare to the community, Paul asks the community to forgive the person.  Paul says, “anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive”.  Notice the reason why Paul calls on them to forgive.  He says it is to prevent, “Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”  In other words, Satan will try to take advantage of discord within the Church in order to hold us back and prevent the salvation of souls.

When you think about it, this is forever the dilemma of a Christian.  We are called to hate the sin but love the sinner.  We are called to judge actions, but not judge souls.  We are called to love our neighbors, but cast out those who actions are objectively sinful and scandalous.  We are called to be orthodox, but also merciful, understanding and loving teachers.  This constant push/pull on our suppositions stretches us out of our comfort zone and helps us to become more holy.

Tomorrow; 1 Cor 3

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