Read: II Corinthians 12:11-21
Think: Paul has planted the church in Corinth and even made a second visit. As he closes this letter, he talks about his plan to make a third visit—which he explains could be painful for everyone. He says, “I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. . . .I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.” Oy!
Act: One of the greatest differences that Christianity brought to every location and culture in the 1st century was its call to the high standard of sexual purity—and holiness—among its people. Paul’s frustration in II Corinthians 12 is obvious. The people have retreated, slipped back, and reverted to their old sinful behaviors. Of course, any leader would feel disheartened if they had mentored and discipled a group of Christians only to find out they had returned to their old ways! One of the most helpful ways to avoid sliding back to old ways is the simple act of daily asking God to search you with His Spirit, test your thoughts, identify any offensive ways in you, and lead you in His ways (Psalm 139:23-24). This allows God’s Holy Spirit to immediately show you if are minimizing, justifying, or rationalizing your behavior. But to be really vigilant, you should allow a spiritual leader (like Paul) to help you stay clear of the behavior in which you previously struggled. If you’ve never made a decision to confess your sins on a daily basis, do so today. If you need an accountability partner for any area of your life in which you struggle, contact them today and ask them to meet with you regularly.
Pray: Dear Lord, I ask you to deepen my resolve to represent You in my culture. I understand that if I don’t look any different than the world, I’ll make no difference in the world for You. I humble myself before you today. I need You, Lord! Amen.
Be full of faith today!