“You show and make obvious that you are a letter from Christ…” 2 Corinthians 3:3
What a compliment! Paul’s makes this glowing statement about the believers in Corinth from both his personal observation and the testimony of others. This particular group of believers had indeed gone through their share of problems, the kind of problems that could destroy a church and ruin its reputation within a community (see 1 Corinthians 5-6). Yet because Paul was willing to speak and act on the truth of God’s Word, with love and conviction, and pray through the challenge (2 Corinthians 2:4) until victory was secured the “mess” became a message! A powerful testimony in the name of Christ! The kind of love Paul displayed takes courage and conviction.
It is tempting to tolerate evil in the name of love or shield someone we love from the consequences of sinful choices. Our fear of rejection or the pain of watching our loved one suffer can lead us to compromise if we are not discerning. As a mom, my temptation over the years has been to intercede with myself instead of interceding with the Lord on behalf of my children. My rescue efforts usually lead to prolonged or repeated damage. His (Jesus’) rescue plan leads to a transformation of the heart. Ending cycles of defeat and destruction. (2 Corinthians 3:18) My personal faith is demonstrated through my response in the temptation to rescue. Am I seeking something temporary or eternal? Am I trusting in my own efforts or the way of the Lord?
The love of Christ to sanctify and bring an individual into the blessed life that God intends should be our primary motivation!
Father, give me the courage and conviction to respond with Your sanctifying love when I am tempted to take a shortcut or a manmade solution. In the name of Jesus, our great Redeemer! Amen!