By Samantha Chambo
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? (1 Corinthians 3:3)
Jealousy and quarreling is generally recognized as female flaws. However, this chapter in Corinthians seems to suggest that it is a human problem. I suppose we cannot be blamed for this situation because it is an outflow of the culture we live in. We are always challenged to be the best, the most outstanding and exceptional humans beings possible. So, comparison, competition and later, jealousy and quarrelling is a natural outflow.
This was the problem in the Corinthians church. They thought they could elevate themselves above the crowd by claiming the best leaders or teachers. The obvious result was jealousy and quarrelling, a divided church. Paul rebukes them by saying they are behaving like immature Christians, mere babies in Christ. He admonishes them that it’s not about the teachers you’ve had or about the knowledge you’ve gained, but it is about the extent to which you have yielded to the Holy Spirit and in so doing becoming mature and ready for the deep things of God
According to Kenneth Bailey “The Eastern churches did not have scholars or theologians, but rather ‘Fathers of the church.’ The assumption behind that language is: Only when we see the authenticity of your piety, and your commitment to the church, will we take your scholarship seriously.” Africans normally call mature women mothers. People call me mother on a regular basis. This is because I have children, but also because I am in leadership over them. They see me as someone that is supposed to feed them milk and later solid foods. I want to make sure that I don’t have to survive on milk myself because I am still caught in a worldly spirit of competition, comparison, jealousy and quarrelling. I want to make sure that I am worthy to be called a mother in the church.
Think about it
What are the things in other people that you normally compare yourself to? What effect does this comparison have on yourself and your relationships?
Resist the temptation to compare yourself to other people. Rather seek to grow in your spiritual maturity.
And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God (Phil. 1:9-11). Amen
 The New International Version. (2011). (1 Co 3:3). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Kenneth E Bailey, Paul through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians (London: SPCK, 2011), 123.