Daily Reading // 2 Corinthians 2:1-17
READY // SILENCIO
Take a moment to quiet your mind and prepare your heart for your time with the Lord.
READ // LECTIO
Read the passage above up to three times aloud. Allow yourself to feel the words as they are read.
REFLECT // MEDITATIO
Now direct your focus on the words, phrases concepts or sentences that got your attention. What is God speaking to you today through His word?
2 Corinthians 2:4 (NKJV) For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
Relationships are the most difficult things you’ll ever love.
Paul’s relationship with the believers at Corinth was not a light, passing acquaintance. He had preached the gospel to them. He taught them. He lived among them for a year and a half. He really poured himself into them.
Paul took great joy in his friends in Corinth. In verse 3, he affirms that they give him great joy. Whenever he was with them, he expected it to be a joyful time. He counted on them for that.
Any relationship that has the ability to bring you great joy also has the ability to bring great sorrow and hardship as well. That’s how it goes. The deeper the relationship the more the joy or hurt.
Here Paul says this relationship brought him affliction, anguish of heart and many tears. He didn’t tell them that to bring them grief but to show them the depth of love he had for them. These are trademarks of real love.
So, that’s the deal with relationships. They will give you life’s greatest joy and life’s greatest heartache. The only way to go deep in relationship is to make yourself open to relational pain. It’s a risk, it always is. It is a risk that is always worth taking. Marriage is a relationship with the greatest benefits and tremendous risk. We love our children so much that
Don’t let relational pain fool you into thinking it lessens a relationship. It doesn’t. It actually affirms the value and importance of that relationship.
There is something far worse than relational pain, it is relational indifference. It is isolating yourself making yourself numb relationally so that you will never experience this kind of pain. Paul would have something to say to you: Have relational courage. Don’t shut yourself off from relationship because of the risk. Take relationships for all they are - joy and anguish. You can’t have one without the other.
RESPOND // ORATIO
Pray in response to what the Lord has spoken to you.
Jesus, Your relationship with me cost You great anguish and pain. You didn’t shy away but pressed in. Give me relational courage to risk the anguish for the joy gained. Amen.
Tomorrow’s reading -> 2 Corinthians 2:1-4