Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection.
2 Corinthians 13:7-9
Paul reiterates the fact that he wants to see the church strong and thriving. That should be the goal of any minister of the Gospel. We’re not here to nitpick or find fault in everything that’s done.
A true leader wants to see God’s will accomplished through the lives of every believer. So, through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, we should seek the advancement of all.
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority — the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
2 Corinthians 13:10
Paul makes it clear that there’s a purpose to his God-given authority. The reason the Lord has put Paul in this position is for the building up of the church.
I think there are Christian leaders who’ve forgotten this in our generation. We have no authority for the tearing down of people. Then we wonder why there’s no one following.
We need to walk in the grace of encouragement. Then we’ll see the authority of Christ at work in us.
Paul gives this church some important advice. It’s always easier for change to take place by being obedient to the Word of God. The last thing we want is to have to endure a public rebuke.
It should be the same for us. We need to be living a repentant lifestyle. We should go to the Lord as soon as we feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Too many times we sweep things under the carpet. We wait until things get totally out of control. Only then do we finally humble ourselves before the Lord. Instead, we should be quick to repent.
Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints send their greetings.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:11-14
In the end, Paul gives them some final pieces of encouragement. He wants the best for them. It’s obvious that he can’t wait to see them and worship with them in person.
Question: In what ways do you use the authority that God has given you?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi