Through Paul’s ministry, he gave birth to and established the church at Corinth. In his second letter to them, he’s continuing his role as a spiritual parent. We can gain some insight from this section of Scripture.
You may want to read 2 Corinthians 12:14-13:4 before you continue with this post.
Spiritual parents are not after your possessions. They want your love and trust.
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you.
2 Corinthians 12:14a
Don’t get me wrong. They may need your support of their ministry. But, they’ll never use guilt or shame to strong-arm you into giving. They want to allow the Holy Spirit to direct your support.
Spiritual parents give up their lives for you. They’re willing to go the distance. They seek God’s will and will obediently follow His direction. Many times that means doing things that are difficult or inconvenient.
Spiritual parents don’t exploit you. This is a key point. It’s all about attitude. Why is that person in the ministry? Some see it as an easy way to make a living. Others see it as an opportunity to bring people up to a new level in Christ.
Spiritual parents want you strong and growing. As a spiritual parent, there should be no sense of competition with those you’re leading. The desire is that all should grow to their highest potential. It doesn’t matter if you surpass me in some areas.
We’re all in this together. We’re all working toward the same goal – to lift up the name of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual parents grieve over your sin. This is something that many believers don’t understand. They think that church leaders are in the clouds somewhere. They don’t realize that true ministers are hurting because of the problems they see in their people.
Remember how Paul expressed it earlier in this letter.
Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
2 Corinthians 11:28-29
Spiritual parents correct you. This is one of those areas that we try to avoid. How do you handle correction from a church leader? It’s actually harder for the leader. We don’t want to have to bring correction to someone we love.
The problem is that our love for you compels us to want you to get back on course. We know what’s ahead if you continue in your error. A true spiritual parent wants your highest and best.
All of these things are at work in true leaders. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to pray for them daily. We want their ministry to be a joyful experience and not a burden.
Question: In what ways is God leading you to be a spiritual parent?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi