“For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.”
??2 Corinthians? ?2:4? ?ESV??
Paul shares with the Corinthian church that he recognizes the heaviness of his first letter and how strongly it came across. However he shares that it wasn’t easy for him to write it. That though it caused them pain in reading it, it caused him pain in writing it.
Calling people out seems easy. You know the truth, they aren’t living it out and so BAMM, you drop a truth bomb and walk away. Yet it isn’t that easy nor is spiritual leadership that cavalier. When people are in sin and their lives are in disobedience it is the role of the spiritual leader to call it out. With years of ministry experience I have done this both the wrong way and the right way. The wrong way is to deal with it in a black and white, you’re wrong, I’m right manner. Rarely are things as black and white as we make them. Sin complicates things and muddies the water. Also if I deal with their sin in a non caring way I have to check my motivation of getting involved in the first place. Paul cried as he wrote 1 Corinthians. He called out sexual sin. He called out misuse and abuse of spiritual gifts. He called the church to order. Yet it reads totally differently when you recognize Paul was crying as he wrote it. He cared about the church and wanted them to walk in the light. The darkness that was creeping in bothered Paul deeply. He wrote the letter because he cared, not because He wanted them to know he was right. I must check my motives. DO I correct because I care or because I know I am right. The answer changed everything. Correcting without care is judgment. Correcting because you care is pastoring.
Father help me check my motives when I correct. May I only shy away from correction because I sense my heart is judgmental. May I never shy away because it is hard or uncomfortable. Teach me to be broken over other people’s sin the same way I am broken over my own.