In 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, Paul speaks to the idea that our hearts can grow cold and calloused to the community of Christ: “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return ( I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.”
In 2 Corinthians 7:2-3, we see the heart addressed again: “Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.”
We are called both to live and die together… We are called to love
Our relationships with one another are eternal! Get ahold of that! Not only will our relationship with Jesus be eternal but our relationship with His people is eternal as well. We are called both to live and die together. I think part of that dying process is forgiving those who have either intentionally or unintentionally hurt us.
We are called to love. As 1 John 4:19- 21 says: “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
We find an exhortation in 2 Corinthians 6 and 7 to widen our hearts, make room in your hearts (2 Cor.7:2), and admonition from the apostles to the church that “you are in our hearts” (2 Cor. 7:3).
As the body of Christ, we are called to function as a body and 2 Corinthians 1 is filled with the very intentions and purposes of what our lives together were ordained by God for……
EACH OTHER, not self!
Comforting each other (v.4)
Sharing abundantly in Christ's sufferings (v.5)
Share in comfort (v.5)
Share in affliction for the sake of comfort and salvation (v.5)
To see a purpose to our affliction (v. 6)
Hope for each other (v.7)
Tell each other our burdens and afflictions (v.8)
Encourage each other (v.8)
Rely on God, not ourselves (v. 9)
Remind each other (v.10)
Help each other by prayer (v.11)
Visit each other (v.15)
Work together for joy (v.24)
2 Corinthians 21-22 encapsulates God’s intentions for US!
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
Who are we to hold on to unforgiveness and distance ourselves from God’s gracious provision for our lives? The body of Christ is a supernatural community that is ordained by God for our good and His glory! We cannot treat the grace of God like a smorgasboard where we pick and choose what we like, disregarding the very things that will nourish us and build the body of believers up into the head which is Christ.
Our experiences are to be shared with one another for one another.
So, let us submit to God’s Word. Let us respond in maturity today by praying that He would widen our hearts for His people because we are in this thing together for the long haul!
Our experiences are to be shared with one another for one another. We must lay aside any weight that would hinder us from running the race with endurance. Unforgiveness is a heavy burden that will ensure a root of bitterness. Bitterness and unforgiveness will not be allowed in our future heavenly relationships, so why would we allow them in our earthly kingdom minded relationships if we are serious about our love for God?
Above all else let’s LOVE! 1st Peter 4:8 attests to the importance of our relationships with one another this side of heaven: “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
Karen Savage wants to live in a world where Christ is Glorified. When she's not serving her family, you can find her serving others. Her favorite Scripture is John 15:7-8 ESV.