Last night, continuing through 1 Corinthians, I noticed a prevailing attitude being spoken about by Paul - pride ("puffed up"-1 Co 4:18, 19; 5:2). So, remembering all the talk about foolishness in the previous chapters, I decided to go back and re-read all of the previous chapters.
Basically, the church in Corinth was a mess. Paul had received word from Chloe (1 Cor 1:11) about all of the contentions going on, among other things. There were divisions in the church because members were identifying themselves with church leaders instead of with Christ. Apparently it was no wonder that there were contentions going on with all of the big heads running around! No wonder Paul spoke so much of the foolishness of the world in contrast to the wisdom of God! (1 Co 1:18,20,21,23,25,27;2:14;3:19).
We need to protect ourselves day in and day out from pride creeping into our hearts and minds. If we can protect ourselves from pride, we can help in protecting our churches from division. Remember that only by pride comes contention. (Prov 13:10) How can we protect ourselves? Paul gives us the answer as he quotes Jeremiah the prophet:
1 Cor 1:3 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the Lord, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exerciseth lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
Friends, we are all guilty of getting "puffed" up with pride at times. We think our opinions are right or that our new ideas are the best. We even sometimes praise ourselves for having certain spiritual gifts when we wouldn't have them without God anyway. We can even get big heads over our bible knowledge as compared to someone else. Watch out!
God is the only one worthy of our praise. He is perfect and never changing, the provide of ALL that we have and the keeper of our souls. How are you getting to know God better each day? That is His delight.