This week I will be having an oil change done on one of my vehicles, it is something that we all know has to be done on a regular basis. But why? Well, I am no mechanic but I know that oil provides cooling, cleaning and has a bunch of other jobs to keep our engines working smoothly. When our oil is low, it becomes hotter and hotter and begins to break down, leaving our engine susceptible to internal damaged that can be very costly to fix.
In some ways I see the Apostle Paul as a bit of a mechanic. When we read his letter to the Corinthian church we can see that there is some friction among the community of believers that has the potential to harm the advancement of the Gospel message. There are divisions and quarrels over which leader to follow, some followed Paul, others Apollos, Cephas and others Jesus. Paul sets out to help the leaders understand where they have fallen short, why there is friction and why the community seems to be breaking down. We are reminded in the introduction to chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians that the influence of the world is wearing the people thin, “Are you acting like mere humans?” say Paul. The message of 1 Corinthians is kind of like that of an oil change, it is delivered to refresh the minds of the leaders and people whose tempers may be getting hot or whose relationships are being broken down by false teachings and human desires. It takes the people back to the foundations of their relationship with Jesus Christ whom everything is to be built on.
Psalm 133:1 says “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” When we lose sight of keeping God the center of our community there is a breakdown in our relationships because our focus changes, (we begin to wear thin and get a little hot under the collar). We lose sight of the unity that is critical to function as a community so that we can fulfill the mission God has set before us. As believers we need a “spiritual oil change” at times. The best part is that our “oil change” is free, it has already been paid for through Christ. All we need to do is make an “appointment” and exchange the bad for the good (confession and forgiveness). I often miss the mark on getting my oil changed done on time despite the sticker on my window, What about you? When was the last time you had a “spiritual oil change?”