Open Hearts – 2 Corinthians 7. RBT Notes, 9th November

Every true Christian hates differences or misunderstandings to come between them and fellow believers. We’ve all lost sleep as we’ve worried over whether someone in church is avoiding us, or talking about us behind our backs. And no, this sort of worry doesn’t necessarily mean that we are weak people-pleasers who need to grow some backbone – as well as a stronger faith. This could actually be the sign of a Spirit-given love for other people, which hates to see precious relationships grow cold.
 0
Paul sees it like that. “Make room in your hearts for us” (v.1) isn’t the trickery of a con-man, nor the whimper of a needy man. Paul declares his love and integrity (vv.1-7), because he wants the Corinthians to love and trust him. When trust breaks down in churches, love soon goes the same way. And when love goes, well, then we may as well just close the doors and give it all up.
 0
Notice, that love for Paul doesn’t mean that he avoids confrontation, nor should it for us. He refers to a letter where he had told some hard truths which hurt them (v.8). He’s not feeling guilty for that, though it can’t have been easy for him. In fact, he takes comfort that the truth led to repentance and change in the church, which was Paul’s purpose (vv.9-13). The challenge to us is clear: do we love people enough to that we speak the truth in love, when those words might be rejected, and when we might be rejected, too?  Avoiding saying hard things when they’re needed, isn’t love, it’s insincerity, and it’s verging on a form of hatred, as we put our own peace and comfort at the top of our priority list. Does this uncomfortable truth give us anything to repent of?
 0
 
 0
 
A Prayer to Pray
 0
Lord, I am a man of unclean lips. I listen to how I often complain and criticise, boast and serve myself with my words. And I listen for brave words where I say hard but necessary things for Your our honour – but I hear so few. Cleanse my sin, Lord, it is great. Pardon me, and put truth and love on my lips. Make me a servant of Your grace, for Your sake. Amen.

Lewis Allen

Pastor, Hope Church Huddersfield, Director of Gospel Yorkshire, husband, father of five, football follower and dreaming fly-fisherman, Daily Reading the Bible Together blogger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *