DAILY GUIDE DEVOTIONAL: “Integrity in Relationships”

Text: 2 Corinthians 7:2-16

The bible passage is a continuation from 2 Corinthians 2:13, where Paul first mentioned about him leaving Troas for Macedonia to go look for Titus. From chapter 7: 5-6, he continued the discourse, “for when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest…nevertheless, God that comforted those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus”

The rest of the passage from verses 7-12 is like a resolution of the squabble between the Corinthian Christians and apostle Paul. Paul acknowledged his joy at the news brought by Titus concerning them. The Corinthian brethren are repentant. The letter which Paul almost regretted writing actually achieved a positive response in their midst. After reading the carefully worded and confrontational letter pointing out their sins to them, they sorrowed at heart and turned away from their wrong doings. This gladdened Paul’s heart to a very large extent. And now, he opens his heart to express his joy at what they have done. He was particularly glad that their sorrow did not lead them to death but rather to repentance towards God (verse 10). It must be quickly noted that being sorry for sin is not the same as repenting from it. 

Repentance is the first word of the gospel message. When John the Baptist started preaching in Mathew 3:2, the first word was “REPENT” for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. When Jesus started in Mathew 4:17, he began also with “REPENT”; “when Peter was asked what should we do?” in Acts 2:38 his first word was “REPENT”. Today, it seems that “REPENT” has been taken away from the church paralnce and replaced with so many other words. No wonder many come as they are and remain as they are over the years. Again, when we sorrow for doing wrong we must in repentance turn in penitence to God for forgiveness not sorrowing as the word does refusing to forgive ourselves and humbly go to God for pardon. There is no sin too great that God cannot forgive a repentant sinner. Judas sorrowed unto death, while Peter sorrowed unto repentance.

Read also: Consistent and Holy living

Finally, the need for open rebuke in love cannot be over emphasized among godly believers. The book of proverbs says better is an open rebuke than a hidden love. Paul confronted the Corinthians with their wrong doing, not to condemn them but to show them the heart of a true lover. He doesn’t hate them for their wrong doing, but he couldn’t turn a blind eye to what they have done. So he wrote them pointing these out. God needs such fearless and loving leaders in the church today. He also needs a repentant congregation. When correction is given in love to a person who has sinned, let the person humble himself and accept it and repent. He should not continue in his sin and start to play the blame game with the authorities. Neither is it right for the leaders to disgrace and discourage a brother by being condemning in their confrontation. May God’s wisdom and peace always rule supreme in our hearts  through Christ Amen!

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