Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. (2 Corinthians 1:23-2:4)
Today's Morsel: One of the things in leadership is to know when to put the steel on the target. Paul seemed to be a leader who knew when to do just that. Too many leaders allow things to continue, thinking that they will correct themselves. Paul wasn't insensitive to the church's struggles and trials that they faced. But he wasn't about to allow them to just continue on without some form of correction for their wrong doings. He told them, "And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." Paul really wanted to be positive, but he concluded that there was no way to avoid honestly confronting them about their responsibility to God and others. Sometimes we too need to be comforted; but sometimes we need to be confronted. Good, honest confrontation can help us grow and become what God wants us to be. Someone said, "If you never need correcting, you aren't doing anything." When we confront others about their failures and wrong doings, we need to be ready to accept correction when others confront us about our's as well. It is often easy to judge others in order to cover up our shortcomings, but we need to learn to be open and honest in all ways. Remember Solomon said, "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Proverbs 27:5-6). So the next time someone confronts you about a wrong don't become angry, but look to see what God is doing in it.
Sing: Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, and He washed it white as snow.