And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
Have you ever “name dropped?” You know what I mean. When you nonchalantly or blatantly use a well-known or prominent name in a conversation. Why did you do it? Was it to help build your credibility so you could show love and teach the gospel? Or, to gain status to create jealousy and strife? There can be both noble and selfish reasons to do this. The reason depends on whether it comes from our spiritual man or from the man of flesh.
In high school, so much revolves around the people you associate with. You are either labeled cool or a nerd by the names of the people you can call your friends. This determines what parties you’re invited to, your options for dating, and whether or not your years of adolescence will be fun or miserable. This definitely creates an atmosphere where selfishness provokes teens to fight to gain status at all costs. It’s a battle from childish immaturity that stands in the way of the growth of the spiritual man. You can refuse to be a part of this.
When Paul wrote these words to the Corinthians, he was rebuking them for name dropping for ungodly reasons. They were even using names of righteous people, but it was not for the good. It was to associate themselves with a prominent teacher to gain their own prominence. Sounds like high school kids, right? Which is why he goes to the extreme and calls them infants. They couldn’t see past their own selfishness to see the distruction they were causing. How could they when they were only thinking with their fleshly minds? The flesh was hindering the spiritual.
You don’t have to bring yourself to the same level of immaturity as the Corinthians and the world around you. You can move from the milk to the meat by replacing the flesh with the spiritual when you examine your intentions by the standards of Christ’s love. Are you using names to gain an edge for your own sake or for the love of another’s soul? Overall, there is no other name needed by which a soul can be saved than that of Jesus. As a Christian, you have all rights to boast in the name of Christ since by belonging to Christ, you also belong to God and have the hope of all things worthy of praise. So with the boldness of this knowledge, let’s name drop His name to promote His cause!
There is no other name under heaven by which man is saved than my Savior, Jesus. You, O Lord, gave Him as a propitiation for my sins. It is His name that I will boast in because belonging to Him means I belong to You. I will put away my selfish man of flesh to allow my spiritual self to grow from childish immaturity into Christian maturity. Forgive me when I allow the temptations of being popular to cause me to sin. Test my heart, Father, and show me where I’m lacking as I seek everything thru Christ Who is my only way to authentic joy and peace. Amen.
Truth in love,