1Co 11:33-34 “Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.”
In the verses prior to the closing of this chapter, Paul had rebuked the church at Corinth soundly for their poor behavior toward one another. He further instructed them that behaving poorly toward one another in connection with the Lord’s Supper brought judgment upon them. Nevertheless, this judgment was from the chastening hand of the Lord and therefore a matter of some encouragement because this was a sign of His love for them.
Paul evidenced a great concern over their self-centered behavior. He rebuked them in verse twenty-one for each one seeking his own satisfaction. The outcome of this behavior was some were given to excess (even becoming drunk) while others were left hungry. Their lack of concern for one another and the proper recognition of their Lord and Savior were creating a great disunity among them.
Although his rebuke was strong, Paul did not intend for them to lose sight of why he was rebuking them. He again pulled them into that familial relationship when he called them brethren. His counsel to them was born out of love for the Lord and love for them. There was no room left for them to think that Paul was just upset because they had not listened to him: rather, they had not listened to the Holy Spirit.
Seeking that spirit of unity, Paul called on the brethren again to “tarry one for another.” Nothing should be done through strife or vainglory (self-centeredness), but we should humbly esteem our brothers and sisters better than ourselves (Php 2:3). Our assembly should be to bring honor and glory to God and to edify the church of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
If there is anything going on in our lives that would cause us to violate this principle of “others first,” then we need to deal with it before we leave home. In this specific case, it was about being really hungry for food. However, the principle is applicable to anything in our life that could disrupt the unity of the brethren and mar our communion with our Lord.
Paul knew this was not the only issue the Corinthian brethren had. However, this was something that was bringing open condemnation upon them. It was making a mockery of the Lord’s table and generating strife among the brethren. Paul’s heart was for them to immediately take care of this disunity. The rest could wait until he was face to face with them.
May the Lord always grant us a desire to see godly unity among the brethren as we commune together with Him in our daily walk!