Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Up, not down

"Now, even if I boast a little too much of authority, which the LORD gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it."
(2 Corinthians 10:8)

Paul really loves the people of Corinth. He started a church in this thriving metropolis... this multicultural city that had all the temptations and trappings of any modern-day equivalent. His letters to the church there are recorded as 1st & 2nd Corinthians.

His love for them compelled him to speak the truth to them when they went astray, however. Given the fact that very few of us enjoy being corrected, some of the people took Paul's first letter quite harshly. Which prompted Paul to respond not just with reproof, but also with explanation. Here in the 10th chapter of his 2nd letter, Paul reminds them that he uses his authority to build them up, not tear them down. He's not trying to "put them in their place" or "bring down the hammer" of God's judgment. not at all. He's trying to strengthen them. Trying to correct their error (& sinful ways). Trying to make them more like Jesus.

What a great example for us when it comes to relating to others... especially within the church, and as people of faith. Are we trying to tear down our build up others, in the name of Christ? Even in correction, our words/actions should seek the latter. Lord help us all! AMEN.

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