Monday, July 24 – 2 Corinthians 7:2-16
Do you remember a summer when you had a special certain someone you were interested in? Maybe you met at band camp, a summer concert, church camp, or the local city pool?
If so, you can appreciate all the steps it took to work up the courage to introduce yourself, date, and move into a deeper, committed relationship with that certain someone, right? However, there are always missteps taken in a relationship, right? Aren’t you glad you had time, and a little luck, and persevered with that individual?
Twenty years later, I can say that I am thankful for my wife and all our experiences shared together. OK, not all of them. But most of them. But having a life partner to navigate the ups and downs, experiences, and the unbelievable joy of bringing new life into this world has brought depth and meaning to my life that I can't imagine not sharing with others. It’s out of our knowing one another, trust, commitment, and reliance on one another that we have had to risk speaking about needs and wants, to help one another meet goals personally and relationally. Sometimes those conversations have been hard.
Today, we read 2 Corinthians and notice that Paul’s tone has changed in his letter. Paul is addressing spiritual pride within the congregation, and it appears that some leaders or some in the congregation are participating in things that are counter to the good news of Christ. How disappointing, right? Paul must bring some tough love into the conversation. Paul does this out of the initial relationship developed when he lived among the congregation for 18 months. It can be hard to hear truth from a loved one but oftentimes that allows people to address root issues, which then can bring about transformation.
Questions for reflection:
- Sometimes it takes a special person in your life to call out the patterns and behaviors that you have slipped into. Do you have a special friend, spouse, or coworker who can be a truth speaker?
- In the past, how did you receive feedback from a close person who questioned your actions, behavior, or words?
Saint Francis de Sales, who served in a church in France, wrote this prayer, “Well, my poor heart, here we are, fallen into the ditch we had made so firm a resolution to avoid; Oh!! Let us rise and leave it forever. Courage! Henceforth, let us be more on our guard. God will help us, we shall do well enough! Amen.”