You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? 1 Corinthians 3:3
We can test how worldly we are by whether or not we are jealous, and whether or not we quarrel. We would like to be addressed as spiritual, but if we quarrel or become jealous we are “mere infants in Christ” (verse 1).
It’s a challenging test for how spiritual we are. We tend to look at how much of the Bible someone knows, how long they have been a Christian, how well they pray but no, the test is whether our faith has affected our behaviour. As children grow we expect their behaviour to mature. Likewise, as Christians grow we expect their behaviour to become more Christ-like. We can’t say—that’s just the way I am. Whatever is wrong with our lives God can fix, if we allow him to do so.
In this passage, we find that the Corinthians have been quarrelling over leadership preferences. We all have our preferences when it comes to preaching styles, leadership styles, speaking styles. Yet these differences shouldn’t divide us. Paul tells them that their leaders are “only servants, through whom you came to believe” (verse 5). Even though someone may have had a big impact on our lives, even leading us to faith, that person is still only a servant who God empowered. Sometimes God will even allow us to become disillusioned with those who led us to Christ in order that our faith rests on him, and not on a person or church.
Paul teaches the Corinthians one plants, others water, “but God made it grow” (verse 6). We can assist the growth process by resisting the temptation to quarrel over incidentals.