Wow! It’s been a while since I wrote anything on here. I’ve been really busy working on my Masters, but now I’m on summer break until August 19. 😀
First off, I’d like to mention how interesting it is that my last post was about being unequally yoked, and my last journal entry–which I was reviewing earlier today–was about the same topic. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 Paul told the Corinthians not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. My study Bible says that Paul was most likely referring to the false teachers that were trying to lead the Church members astray; however, I believe Paul was referring to much more than that. Really this can be applied to all our relationships. Unbelieving friends, co-workers, or teachers can encourage us to act/live against what God’s Word asks/expects of us. Now, it’s not that we aren’t supposed to have unbelievers as friends, but they shouldn’t make up our core group of friends or be those we seek for sound godly advice. Paul reminds us that we’re intended to be separate and holy, “perfecting holiness out of reverence for God;” in other words, we honor God by separating ourselves for His purpose and living according to His commands.
Paul then goes on to ask the question “And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols?” You may be confused by this question, but remember, we previously discussed that WE are God’s sanctuary. His Holy Spirit takes residence within us when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. Therefore, God ought to be our focus; our life’s purpose should be to glorify God in all that we do. Unbelievers, however, put themselves at the center of their universe–making themselves an idol–and putting themselves before God. Today one of my Facebook friends 😉 posted a quote by rapper Shai Linne, it stated “It’s called selfism, the fastest growing religion.” I thought this quote pretty much summed up this topic.
Now, for what I really wanted to discuss!! 😀 TODAY, I was reading 2 Corinthians 7:2-16 and I was reminded that man has remained the same since the beginning. Paul was, again, speaking to the church at Corinth. He always had to correct and rebuke the members of the church, which amuses me, because I realize the early Church had just as many problems as today–even some of the same problems! But one of the many reasons I love Paul is that because he loved the Church so much, he was honest and spoke the Truth to them, even when he knew it would hurt their feelings or cause them to be angry with him. He would rather have people be upset for a short while on Earth, rather than spend an eternity in hell, because he’d withheld the truth from them. Paul wanted them to repent and have a heart (and lifestyle) change; his intent was not to hurt them, but to help them.
How often we get angry with those who correct us! Man is still the same today. We hate being corrected. However, usually, those who are correcting us, do so out of love for us. Paul constantly reminded the Corinthians that he loved them and was proud of them. He was so proud of them that he was bragging about them to Titus (2 Corinthians 7:14)! Remember God’s Word says He disciplines/corrects those He loves (Revelations 3:19). However, we often confuse correction for criticism, but there’s a difference between the two. When you hear correction, think “improvement” because correction ought to build you up and make you a better individual, or in this case, a better Christian; but when you hear criticism, think “fault-finding” because this individual is simply trying to tear you down. Therefore, the next time someone corrects us we ought to be “quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19) and remember…”Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise” (Proverbs 19:20).