The Pride Divide

Joel Plantinga

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? (vv. 12-13, niv)

Whether we like it or not, our identity is often the product of divisions of one kind or another. Race, gender, political affiliation, income, or any of a variety of factors classify and separate us. In my town, you are either an “east-sider” or “west-sider”—ironically determined by which side of Division Street you live on.

The church in Corinth was diverse, which was a strength

—until people began to identify themselves with factions instead of with the whole body of Christ. Even those who claimed to be “of Christ” were making it clear what they thought of the status of the other groups. What had been a cohesive community was now fractured.

It is easy to identify with personalities or divide over non-essential issues in the church. As these divisions occur, pride usually sets in as we jockey for theological position. When we define ourselves over against other Christians, we discredit the message of Christ’s power and love. When we humble ourselves and work in unity, we send a powerful message of Christ’s uniting love in a divided and broken world.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to grow in grace together with those you have placed in our lives. Amen.