“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” This passage makes it clear that the early church dealt with many of the same issues we do today. There are times when our egos inform the way we do church and the way we live in community with one another. Sometimes our actions – no matter how justifiable or innocent they seem in our own eyes – are harmful or put a stumbling block in the path of someone else’s faith journey. Paul’s challenge to the Christian community at Corinth is for individuals to ground their actions and decision-making in love for their fellow believers, rather than to operate from a place of self-righteousness or self-importance.
Can you think of an interaction in the faith community when your words or actions might have harmed another or gotten in the way of their growth? What motivated you in that circumstance? Often, when I have hurt someone in this way, it is because I spoke or reacted without first thinking about the impact it might have on the other person, not because I really meant to hurt them. How can you incorporate the practice of asking yourself before you open your mouth, “Are these words or is this action grounded in love?”
Offer a prayer of confession for those times when your words or actions have been a stumbling block for someone else and commit yourself to being more intentional next time.