2 Corinthians 7:2-10
Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone. We have not led anyone astray. We have not taken advantage of anyone. I am not saying this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts forever. We live or die together with you. I have the highest confidence in you, and my pride in you is great. You have greatly encouraged me; you have made me happy despite all our troubles.
When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told me how much you were looking forward to my visit, and how sorry you were about what had happened, and how loyal your love is for me, I was filled with joy!
I am no longer sorry that I sent that letter to you, though I was sorry for a time, for I know that it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.
In this portion of scripture, Paul is picking up where he left off in 2 Corinthians 2:13. He had written another letter to the Corinthian church (which is now lost) bringing correction and rebuke for an unknown situation that occurred in the church. As stated in chapter 2, it brought much pain and sorrow for Paul to write and send the letter, but he knew and prayed that it would bring joyous results, which it did.
Often times, bringing correction or rebuke into a situation, is very difficult for everyone involved. But when left undone, disastrous results take place. Children left undisciplined result in immature, irresponsible, chaotic adults. The same holds true for Christian believers. Pastors and leaders are held to an expectation by God to bring correction and discipline to those serving under them, who will ultimately answer to God for their responsibility. If left undone, the church is often filled with immature, irresponsible, chaotic Christians, wreaking havoc on those around them and the church body as a whole. Fear of job and financial loss, often paralyzes a leader from making the decision to bring correction and rebuke. Paul, who is an awesome example to us, pushed through that fear and was obedient to his call and responsibility.
From the other side of the coin, the one receiving the correction has the option of rejecting or accepting the rebuke. Human nature usually reacts in the negative, defensive tone, but in this situation, those involved received the correction and made the necessary changes to bring positive results. As hard as it is to accept and understand, God uses sorrow to bring about positive changes in our lives. If we could just learn to accept God’s correction immediately instead of fighting, fussing and whining, we would see such growth, maturity and joy in our lives.
Think about the last time you had something sorrowful happen in your life. Could it have been that God was trying to teach you something through that event? Did you ever consider that option? Go back and consider what God was trying to teach you. Rethink and relive the situation and try to take away a new perspective or a new life lesson that you never even considered before. Ask God to reveal it to you.
Have a great day!