Read 2 Corinthians 7:2-11
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.
5-11 For even when we arrived in Macedonia we had a wretched time with trouble all round us-wrangling outside and anxiety within. Not but what God,who cheers the depressed,gave us the comfort of the arrival of Titus. And it wasn’t merely his coming that cheered us,but the comfort you had given him,for he could tell us of your eagerness to help,your deep sympathy and keen interest on my behalf. All that made me doubly glad to see him. (JBP)
We may know of some people who are extremely private. We can never quite figure out what is going on in their life. They keep their true feelings to themselves. As such,it is hard to draw close to them or share life experience with them. They may remain polite and loved strangers.
It doesn’t seem the Apostle Paul was such a person. He didn’t hide his feelings from those to whom he wrote. It might have been indignation or affliction or joy: Paul expressed what was on his heart,as in this text. This is what authentic relationship is about: having a degree of honesty so that we do share what is on our heart. This helps mutual love and prayer as we better understand each other.
Of course there are limits to such self-disclosure. We will share in great depth with a few,we will share some things with quite a few people,and with some we may decide to remain very private. Authenticity in relationships is not about telling everyone everything. It is about wisely determining to let at least a trusted few see inside us and some others to catch a glimpse.
It is right to guard our privacy and be discreet. But our lives are not to be utterly closed books to others. Some trusted others may read our lives and in doing so can bless us and have us bless them.