“I beg you to let him know that you really do love him”.
2 Cor 2:8 GNB
The Christian church, like all groups of people, can become a nasty mess of broken relationships, bitter personal feelings, resentments, and ongoing feuds. Jealousies can flourish, people looking for revenge, and animosities can run riot. It isn’t always easy to halt the bitterness when once it starts and gets hold. Often it is glossed over and the situation just deteriorates.
Paul treated the problem of the difficult person in the church at Corinth with seriousness and strength. He confronted it, and when the time was ripe for reconciliation, gave his advice and instructions accordingly. By this time serious hurt had been caused. In advising that the community should extend forgiveness, he underlined the guiding principle that should predominate in all Christian relationships – love. Even in situations of disagreement, Christian believers should speak the truth in love to one another. Christianity is a group movement. They are not just a collection of individuals. “The corporate nature of Christianity comes out clearly as Paul speaks to the Corinthians. His words are addressed not only to individuals, but also to the church whose members minister to one another by their gifts. Lively and open relationships provide the best context for the word of God to work out its purposes among us. This is why the local congregation is so highly regarded and referred to as ‘the church of God’” (2 Cor 1:1) (P. Barnett, The Message of 2 Corinthians, p47).
Try to make your congregation or fellowship more than just a social club of like-minded middle-class people with God added on Sunday mornings. Do all you can to foster and encourage love in all things. Let it be a fellowship of love in Christ.
Lord, let your love control our congregation.