“For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.”2 Corinthians 2:4
The 2 Corinthian letter is a very personal letter with a lot of expressions of deep emotions. He expresses caring and gratitude for repentance that happened in the church there.
Even thou it is the second letter to that same church, we can notice the difference and the change in the church after his first letter.
Paul explained himself that he wrote all that before not with any other feeling if not, deep love for that church. It wasn’t out of anger, or trying to putting down them; he did not do it with a judgmental heart, nor trying to show his own righteousness. It was because he loved them.
And I guess that the church understood that. They would not have changed if they felt attacked by Paul. The felt the love Paul had for them, even in the hard words that Paul was addressing about the problems the church had.
Paul also asks the church to remember that a correction a church gives to a person should be followed by forgiveness and comfort.
“Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”2 Corinthians 2:7-8
If the correction is given but there is no reaffirmation of love to the offender, then, we are missing the point and the person will not be restored. It is important to show that whenever a correction is given, there will be followed by making sure the person understands that we do that out of love, and nothing else.
It is important to reaffirm love.
As a father, when I correct my kids, I need to explain them that it is been done because I love them. Not out of anger, not to put them down, not to show a status of power… but because of love.
The same applies to the people on the community called church. There will be times that we must confront some issues caused by other people in the community. But all the correction must be done because we love them.
Love is so important that Paul told us specifically to reaffirm our love.
Maybe we do out of love, but the person does not feel that way.
When people are corrected, if they don’t feel it is done by love, they get defensive, hard to reach. If we do out of love but fail to reaffirm our love to the person, there will be a broken relationship.
Let’s take actions to address the problems, even the hard ones like Paul did, but always reaffirm the love to people. Else everything we do or say becomes meaningless.
Father, today is Good Friday. As we remember of your sacrifice for us today, let us remember that you did all out of love. Let’s behave the same way towards our brothers and sisters.