“Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke. But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.”
2 Corinthians 1:23-24 NLT
Paul was very troubled by the activity of those who were undermining his authority and upsetting the unity and stability of the church in Corinth. He makes it clear that his personal visit would have been one of serious confrontation.
When a minister works intently to advance the cause of Christ in a church and then has someone come behind his efforts to disrupt that unity, solidarity, and growth with divisive undermining it can be extremely difficult to contain ones self and maintain composure. The pains of moments like this are deep and extremely frustrating. Only the Holy Spirit can give wisdom, resolve, direction, and correction in these moments. How these moments are handled by the leader and received by the congregation determine the outcome. When it is clear what should be done, there should be no other response than to line up with God's direction given by His appointed, anointed leader. Any other action only causes further damage and disruption. In moments like these, it is necessary to establish the perspective of the church for both the present crisis and for future preparation. The goal is to preserve the whole and deal with the person or persons who are the cause of the problem. This is never easy for the leader or joyful for the congregation. However, moments like these can be defining moments. They can become springboards for future strength and success. Bitter or better is the result, depending on how we respond individually and collectively. Stepping stone or stumbling block. Like it or not the leader must do what is is necessary to restore the fellowship. There is no way to fully understand this unless you are the leader. The ultimate goal is to see the joy of God return to the body of Christ. When we submit to godly leadership and work together we will experience that joy.
“Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”
Hebrews 13:17 NLT
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, make me a part of the solution, not part of the problem. I want to be a contributor of joy to your body, the church.
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Rev. Curtis Norris