“Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone, nor led anyone astray, nor taken advantage of anyone. I’m not saying this to condemn you. I said before that you are in our hearts, and we live or die together with you. I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles.” 2 Corinthians 7:2-4 NLT
Paul was pleading with the church at Corinth to open their hearts to him because his heart was open to them. He loved these people so much that he was willing to confront their wrongs. In doing so, he knew there was opportunity for them to misunderstand and mistake his intentions. He had written a very straightforward letter to them concerning their error and he wanted to follow up with them to assure them of his love. His motive was pure and his method was necessary. He had to put some things in proper order to keep the church on the right path. He knew that it was his responsibility to do so. God had called him and placed him as the apostle overseer to the church. Despite the controversy, the church as a whole had encouraged him through the whole situation.
There is always risk involved in doing the right thing. There will always be those who misunderstand or mistake the intentions of a responsible leader. Decisions on what to do in a matter of the well being of the church should always be made with the conviction of scriptural principal and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Doing the right thing amidst turmoil is difficult, yet necessary. It requires discipline, commitment, conviction, resolve, and godly character. These traits seem to be so hard to come by in our time.
No matter what happens, we must remain resolute that we will walk in the love of God and pray that God will be pleased in our actions. We cannot control the behavior of others, but we can control our own behavior. When we truly love Jesus, we will have a genuine love for our fellow believers. If we are seeking to please God, then our hearts can be in unison. Only when we walk in the flesh (carnal, depraved nature) do we see destructive behavior. When we walk in the Holy Spirit, we will find correction, direction, and reconciliation. That is what God wants! After all, isn't that who we are trying to please?
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, help me to walk in the Holy Spirit so I will please You. I want to be a part of the solution in any situation, not part of the problem.
Rev. Curtis Norris