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Daily Devotionals

Day 31 – Issue 36

todayMay 1, 2015 6

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Be Still Know

READ: 2 Corinthians 7: 8-9 NLT

I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways.

Early on in my ministry one of the most spiritual and sensitive members of the congregation said to me, “Very little truth is spoken in this church.” I was quite shocked by this statement and thought a great deal about it. As I did so I came to realise that she was absolutely right. It was a very happy church and it was growing strongly but our relationships were mainly very superficial. We were all extremely friendly with one another but to be honest we didn’t talk much about the challenges and tensions that we were facing. We carefully avoided the sharp edges of truth. However, if we are truly to grow as churches there needs to be a great deal of honesty and a willingness to speak the truth in love.

Paul had shared a lot of truth with the Corinthian church and clearly his words had hurt them. He now reflects on the letter that he had written and acknowledges that at first he was sorry that they had found it so painful, but now he was glad that he had sent it because his strong words had helped them to change their ways. Whenever we have something tough to share with others we need to do so with a huge amount of prayer, sensitivity and love. It’s not easy to share with other people words that they might find painful. Even though we might be absolutely sure that we are right about a situation, we would not want them to dislike us or reject us if we spoke strongly to them. We would rather smile at them sweetly and hope the problem disappeared. But the fact is that the only way we will grow up as Christians and church communities is by speaking the truth in love.

QUESTION: What have you learnt from the times when people have spoken the truth in love to you?

PRAYER: Loving Father, help me to grow in my willingness to speak the truth in your name, and to do so with love. Amen.

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Written by: Miriam Emenike

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