As I read the last chapter of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, I had a difficult time deciding just what to write to you about today. There are lots of good lessons here for us to consider in 2 Corinthians 13. The primary theme is the importance of self-reflection in the form of spiritual check-ups. He encourages the Corinthians to be ever aware of Christ’s presence in our lives and to take active steps toward growing closer to God. As we celebrate Father’s Day today, I’m aware of the parallels between Paul’s role as an elder or father figure to the early Christian’s and our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I think it’s a wonderful reminder to us that our perfect Father is in heaven. Our connection with Him is unbreakable, despite our sin.
In reading notes and commentary for today, I found myself returning to verse 11 over and over:
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live and peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
Who among us doesn’t need a little restoration? The NIV Study Bible ends its commentary on Corinthians 13 with this:
“Paul was dealing with an ongoing problem in the Corinthian church. He could have refused to communicate until they cleared up their situation, but he loved them and reached out to them again with the love of Christ. Love, however means that sometimes we must confront those we care about. We can be legalistic and blast people away with the laws they should be obeying. We can turn away from them because we don’t want to face the situation. We can isolate them by gossiping about their problem and turning others against them. Or like Paul, we can seek to build relationship by taking a better approach-sharing, communicating and caring.”
I know that I’ve done all these wrong things in my relationships. How often are we short sighted and give up on someone we love when we grow impatient with their sin. I close examination reveals that some people close to me may have given up or refused to communicate with me until I cleaned up my sin. Paul’s message of the importance of restoration both in our own spiritual life and in our relationship with others is powerful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to first hear it and then share it with you today.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
Have a great week.