My guess is that anyone who is reading this is interested in being spiritually mature; in feeding on the solid food of the adult rather than the milk of infants. We are those who want to go deep in Christ!
Clearly, being “spiritual” involves both knowledge and practice. No matter how much Scripture we may have stored up in our head, or how much time we have spent studying it, if we still behave like people who are pursuing “what makes you feel good” or “what makes you look important” (as The Message puts it), well, we’ve missed the proverbial boat.
If our life continues to be marked by “infantile” behavior (again, the Message) like the jealousy and quarreling that keep us from loving and appreciating one another as Christ loved us, we can be sure that somewhere, in some way, we’ve gotten off track.
So let’s get real practical. Who are you jealous of? Deep down in the secret places of our hearts, who is that we feel has it better than we do? How does this jealousy keep us focused on someone else’s life instead of being grateful for what God is doing in our own? Perhaps jealousy, which often is not easily acknowledged even in the privacy of our own souls, is a source of anger and ill will which keeps us from faith, hope, and love.
And how about quarreling? Who are you fighting with right now—even if it is only within your own mind? What personal wars are you waging? You know the old saying: It takes two to tango. What are we contributing the fight? How are we keeping the battle going? How much of it is, if we are painfully honest, our problem? And how is this keeping us from faith, hope and love?
Let’s face it. No matter how much we might like to think we understand and participate in what God is doing in the world through Jesus, if we do not love “our neighbor as our self”, that is not in fact the case.