Relationships: Sources of Stress & Comfort
More practical life training from 2 Corin. 7:2-7
Finally, some good news! Titus has returned & told Paul that they are longing for & even zealous for him – what a relief. Paul is still seeking to develop & deepen a mutual relationship with the Corinthians. A one way relationship is not spiritually healthy or safe for these new believers. This is a sad reoccurring theme in this long, pleading, soul-bearing letter.
Still building a case of his trust worthiness, Paul is able to point to his behavior when he was among them. He writes of his comfort from hearing Titus’ report & shares his confidence that their relationship will survive this test. Once again, there is so much for us to learn about building, maintaining & repairing relationships that honor God & mutually edify.
2 Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4 I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.
5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn— fighting without and fear within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. (ESV)
You can you make this appeal: “Make room in your hearts for us. . . (vs. 2)
When you have lived this way:
We have wronged no one, godly methods
we have corrupted no one, godly message
we have taken advantage of no one.” godly motives
you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. (vs. 3)
Ministry = Making huge deposits in people’s relationship banks.
“I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you…” (vs. 4a)
Our comforting God often uses people to comfort us (vs. 4b-7)
“I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.”
· Through Titus’ return / presence
· By the Corinthians’ treatment of Titus
· In the Corinthians’ attitude towards Paul
· Is your life one that builds trust & confidence in others? Interdependency!
· Are you a source of comfort that God uses to bless & bring joy to others?