Read 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
8 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. 9 Now I am glad I sent it,not because it hurt you,but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have,so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow,which lacks repentance,results in spiritual death. (NLT)
So often we confuse being nice with being godly. So often we get into a panic because we upset someone. So often we apologise to another person when we have not,in fact,done anything for which we need to apologise. Such are the perils of ‘niceness’.
Paul upset his Corinthian readers. Understandably it upset him to have to do that. No one finds such things pleasant. But he realistically recognises that the hurt he inflicted on them was justified. It actually led to them changing their ways. If he had been content to be merely ‘nice’ they would not have done so. In other words,there is a time and place for godly rebuke,a time and place for upsetting others.
The evil one will sometimes have us feel guilty about causing pain to someone when causing pain was the kindest thing to do. The test of whether our rebuke is godly is not the degree of upset it causes to the other person. It is what is occurring in our own hearts as we deliver the rebuke,and perhaps the longer term response of that other person.
Paul,like Jesus,made his priority bringing people into God’s ways. Not exhibiting some insipid niceness in order to keep the peace. Keeping the peace at any price will usually mean we pay a very high price.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by