I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard…What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it. Isaiah 5:1,4
I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I will now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. 2 Corinthians 13:2,3
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is so loving and then his tone shifts and he addresses his beloved less than tolerantly and diplomatically. He slips into sarcasm and harshness. What is a lover to do? Watch his beloved slip into deception and watch her walk down the path of injury and self destruction? Does he not follow God’s example in Isaiah 5 and 6?
I want church to be a safe place, an escape from the anger and deceit of the world. I want to be around nice people who behave rationally. I want to avoid conflict as much as possible, but experience tells me that the church and I are not exempt. As wonderful as the church is, newspaper headlines will tell you that sin is at work amongst us redeemed. I have recently heard that conflict is the price of intimacy. Thank God for the Paul’s of this world that are willing to put aside their own desires to be loved and well received, say the tough words and take the necessary actions to restore intimacy with God and each other. May God help me love Him and His church with Paul’s selflessness.