June 26th – “Now that we’re friends again- Watch It !”



Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians is the most resounding and audible sigh of relief in the history of literature. An excruciating estrangement had exploded between Paul and the excitable and proudly Greek community of Christians in the church which Paul had founded.
This letter expresses Paul’s relief that the bitter estrangement between them had been resolved. There is gratitude, and much explanation in this sigh of relief, but also no shortage of putting the record straight. In other words: ‘I love you, I’m so glad we’re friends again, but watch it in future’.
They had taken offence at Paul’s stern rebuke of what they, as liberal, educated Greeks saw as broad-mindedness. He had slammed their slap-happy, undisciplined attitude to sexual behaviour and to Christian morals, and worship. Can you imagine them talking together? “Who does he think he is? We have more sophisticated, well-spoken, visiting preachers who don’t have to work as common tradesman, like he does. I mean, he’s a bit too intense – after all, my dear, a little too Jewish, and not exactly the greatest preacher in the world – and Oh, yes, by the way, he never brought us any written character references, did he ?…”
Paul never defended himself, but he fiercely defended his calling as an Apostle. Especially throughout the Corinthian correspondence. In this letter, although he confesses his enormous relief that he is now back as the flavour of the year in Corinth, accepted as their apostle and loving friend in Christ, he still includes a great many warnings and explanations, and also lets them see how hurt he had been. Nevertheless now they were reconciled, and making up is one good thing to come out of our rows and troubles, is it?
In his letter Paul explains why he couldn’t settle at Troas because he was desperate for news from Corinth:
For I wrote to you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.
I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-bye to them and went on to Macedonia. But thanks be to God” II Corinthians 2: 4, 13-14a
The word for today is this. If you are at odds with anyone, you wont have any peace of mind until you have started to seek reconciliation. Go to it!

A Prayer:
At the cost of my pride Lord, I will seek to restore that severed relationship.

Now read Matthew 5:21-26.

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Thought 4 The Day

Before Christ, a man loves things and uses people; after Christ he loves people and uses things. (H. Wood)

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