Responding to correction!
Scripture reading for September 4th: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-16
According to Proverbs, the wise man loves discipline and receives knowledge from being corrected. Whoever hates discipline is just plain ‘stupid’. (Proverbs 12:1) In reality, most people don’t enjoy discipline and many don’t enjoy correcting others because it causes strife and conflict between people. Preachers have the task of correction and of teaching and preaching ‘truth’ from God’s word. This ‘truth’ is often not well received and brings sorrow to those who need the correction in their lives.
“Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while–yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you be came sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2nd Corinthians 7:8-10) Paul’s letter to these Corinthians had brought correction in many matters. As a preacher, Paul felt bad that he made those who heard sorrowful about their actions and attitudes. He ended up happy because their sorrow led to repentance.
Repentance is the desire of God for His people. Paul had directed the Church at Corinth to put the immoral man out and turn him over to Satan. (1st Corinthians 5:3-5) His goal was that man’s salvation and the church’s purity. This instruction was hard and caused sorrow for many in that church, including Paul. However, this man was made sorry and brought to repentance. (2nd Corinthians 2:6-11) His repentance led to salvation and restoration back into the body! True repentance produces an eagerness to do what is right before God. This brings joy and encouragement to the whole church.
The church now was to take this person back into the body and restore him. They had done this and Paul was encouraged that they had listened to his wise counsel. (2nd Corinthians 7:12-13) Working through our problems by facing them God’s way is not always easy, but when we do it yields beautiful fruit.
Is there correction that God has given you that you need to respond to? Do you know a person who has responded by repentance that needs to be restored? Pray for God’s grace to obey!