Sunday, December 11, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Our Lord Comes
2 Corinthians 7

Sherry Thomas
Christos MTC, PA

Tough love. Wikipedia defines tough love as an expression that is used when a person treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. In most cases, there is love or concerned affection behind the harsh treatment. This expression is something that we have all heard or experienced at least once in our lives, and most likely from our parents when we were younger.

In 2 Corinthians 7: 1-16, we see the Apostle Paul speaking to the Church of Corinth in this fashion. There was no doubt about it – Paul loved the Church of Corinth. However, its members had committed many grievous sins which he could not ignore. As a loving father disciplines his child for disobedience, the church had to be rebuked which he did so in a form of a letter back in chapter 2. However, we read that he was deeply troubled fearing that the letter was too harsh as 2:4, “For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.”
 
Paul reminds the Church of his love for them again in 7:3 when he states, “Make room for us in your hearts.” He implores them to open their hearts to him. However, he goes on to say in verse 8 that his rebuke was justified, “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while–.” Paul wasn’t trying to be malicious; he was so concerned for their well-being that he’d rather risk his relationship and reputation to keep them on the Godly path.

Fortunately, the letter yielded the right response from the Church and this brought great joy to Paul as noted in verses 9-10, “yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your SORROW LED YOU TO REPENTANCE. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

Whether it is our parents or God, we should always try to remember that they have our best intentions at heart. It may not be easy, but we need to keep our hearts open. Having this perspective will allow us to understand the bigger picture and bring us into God's mercy.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us as Your own. You know us better than we know ourselves, and only want what's best for us. Help us to remember that during our moments of trial we may turn to You for Your grace and mercy. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Godly sorrow receives tough love well and produces repentance and salvation.