Keeping the doors open - Hope 103.2

Keeping the doors open

By David ReayMonday 7 Oct 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 2 Corinthians 7:2-4

Do make room in your hearts again for us! Not one of you has ever been wronged or ruined or cheated by us. I don’t say this to condemn your attitude,but simply because,as I said before,whether we live or die you live in our hearts. To your face I talk to you with utter frankness; behind your back I talk about you with deepest pride. Whatever troubles I have gone through,the thought of you has filled me with comfort and deep happiness. (JBP)

This appears to be a fairly normal piece of affirmation on the part of Paul. He often expresses his thankfulness for people and his love for them. What is interesting about this passage is that he does so here to a group of people who were critical of him and disparaged his ministry and even his character.

Paul appropriately defended himself against their unwarranted attacks. But he also expresses his deep love for them and even his pride in them. We might expect to say such words about those who affirm and encourage us. We might not say such words about those who give us no end of trouble.

Paul can do this because he sees behind and beyond their less attractive features. He doesn’t let disagreement become terminal. He doesn’t let the misunderstandings shape his attitude to them. He does not go off in a sulk,pouting about how badly he has been treated. He does not take offence so as to adopt a position of spiritual superiority.

We will face all sorts of people who will say all sorts of things about us that are untrue or unfair. We will be tempted to write them off and have nothing to do with them. We may slam the door on them in our supposedly righteous indignation. Better by far to keep the door open,to realise that God loves them as he loves us. Better by far to realise that within the Christian church we have no enemies,merely friends with whom we might disagree.

David Reay