June 22, 2018
2 Corinthians 6:4-13…“but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God…” vss. 4-7a
We get a mini-memoir from Paul in this part of his second letter to the Corinthians. He’s gotten some negative news from Corinth; evidently some persons in the congregation have leveled charges against him and he’s not happy about the criticism. His only defense is his conduct in the proclamation of the gospel and he careful outlines the hardships endured and the virtues displayed in the course of his ministry. While few of us can match Paul’s story, we do know what it’s like to be misunderstood and criticized by those we have presumed to be our friends. Our congregations have that in common with the one in Corinth, and it always hurts when accusations are made and rumors run rampant. That’s why it’s so important to live lives that are marked by purity, patience, kindness, love and truth. Even when reconciliation is difficult, at least then we can hold our heads high and know we have been faithful to our apostolic calling. It’s not easy to live in community. Even at our best, we can be irritating to others. Ultimately it’s only the power of God’s Holy Spirit that can bring healing and a restoration of peace…and sometimes we just have to learn to live with the brokenness.
Thought for the Day: A time I’ve been criticized or misunderstood.