Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Good Sort of Brokenness

Someone in the Corinthian church committed an offense against Paul, and the church initially failed to defend the apostle. So he wrote a letter of rebuke. It grieved the Corinthians, but with a "godly grief" that led to the fruit of repentance.
From 2 Corinthians 7:10-13:
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. Therefore we are comforted . . .

Look at the variety of responses to Paul's correction -- fear and longing, but also zeal and indignation, and even punishment. But because of the church's "eagerness to clear themselves" and its earnestness, the grief they felt over the correction led to their comfort. And to the apostle's praise.


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