“So I decided that I would not bring you grief with another painful visit. For if I cause you grief, who will make me glad? Certainly not someone I have grieved. That is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when I do come, I won’t be grieved by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes from your being joyful. I wrote that letter in great anguish, with a troubled heart and many tears. I didn’t want to grieve you, but I wanted to let you know how much love I have for you.” 2 Corinthians 2:1-4 NLT
Ministry oversight is often a heavy hearted thing. Dealing with issues in the church can cause discomfort and discontent in the life of the leader and the body. Paul was speaking of his address to the church in Corinth and the strong rebuke that he had given them for allowing false apostles to undermine his authority and lead them astray. Although he had personally dealt with the issue, he was concerned about the state of their minds and hearts. He loved these people. He had not handled them with anything except genuine love and concern. His rebuke was not to destroy them but to establish their present and future well being. He truly loved these people. His heart for them was to see them walk in the things of God and not deviate from the course God had set them on. He wanted to experience the joy of seeing them walk in the truth and know the certainty of their love for him. This would bring great joy to him and encourage him. The peace and joy of knowing that the church was settled and sound was of utmost concern to Paul. When a leader is genuinely concerned about the state of the church he, too, will desire to experience that same thing. At the heart of Paul was his love for the churches. Any leader who truly loves God will love the church and desire to have them love him in return.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, help me love your people with your love.
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Rev. Curtis Norris