2 Corinthians 13:1-4
Matthew 11:29
“I will not spare …”
Following the previous “severe” visit of Paul to Corinth, Paul desired a warmer and more cordial third visit to the city. However, his meekness must not be misinterpreted as weakness. While he sought to be gentle among the Corinthians as every good minister should be (see 2 Tim 2:24; 1 Thess 2:7), yet he would be firm to the unrepentant dissenters of God’s Perfect Word. With steely determination, Paul declared, “I will not spare” (2 Cor 13:2), for to sweep such matters under the carpet is to destroy the church of God.
There are those who seem to think that meekness and gentleness means a refusal to act against sin. Paul’s words in this passage militates against such a thinking. To be meek is not to be a “softie.” Christians are not to be men-pleasers but God-pleasers.
However, there are also others who seem to regard Paul’s gentleness as weakness. Their desire was for a strong and authoritarian leader. To these people, Paul rightly pointed them to the example of Christ. While Christ was on earth, He displayed “weakness” by willingly submitting to humiliation and suffering all the way to the cross to die for our sins. If it were not for this “weakness” of Christ, there would have been no salvation for us. How thankful we are that in this “weakness,” the power of God was manifested in the resurrection of Christ. And it is in this resurrection that we have new life in Christ.
Similarly, Christians are to follow in the footsteps of Christ when it comes to ministering to one another. Kent rightly noted that we are to “demonstrate at various times both the weakness of non-retaliation against opponents and the resurrection power of God in performing His commands.” The meekness of Christians must not be mistaken as weakness. Let us therefore be gentle and yet firm in our dealings with all men.
THOUGHT: The key is to be gentle and yet firm.
PRAYER: Father, teach me to be gentle, yet firm.