|Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. 4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. |
5 For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn--conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever. (2Corinthians7:2-7)
Let's recount the history:
- Paul spent a very fruitful ministry time in Corinth in spite of heavy opposition from the Jewish community. He stayed in Corinth for over a year and a half.
- Then he wrote them a letter we call "1 Corinthians" where he had to address some issues.
- Then he wrote a letter that he refers to as the "letter of tears" which we don't have and it seems that this was a very tough letter
- And then he sent Titus to Corinth to see how things are going.
Paul eventually caught up with Titus who gave him the news that the congregation had treated him well and that they were sorrowful and had ardent concern for Paul.
The challenge is that there are still some issues to face. But the news of mutual affection and concern gives Paul the assurance to be able to go ahead and address those issues.
His assurance comes from a couple of key points:
- He is completely comfortable that he has behaved honourably toward them. "We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one."
- He is convinced of his commitment toward them. "you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you."
- He is optimistic about them. He believes they will ultimately do the right thing. "I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged"
Relationships can experience storms. Politics can come, misunderstandings can come, misinformation can come, and pain and tears can come, but commitment and affection/love (room in our hearts) will win the day.
We're going to take a break from Corinthians for a month. October is the Presbyterian Church's "month of mission" and we'll have devs from a different ministers on the theme of mission.