“For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and I may not be found by you to be what you want; there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.” 2 Corinthians 12:20
Grace and peace fellow sojourners!
In this second letter to the people of Corinth, we find Paul wondering if when he came to minister to the brethren that instead of receiving an outpouring of love from them he would instead be met by their undisciplined behavior, whether displayed openly or masked.
A humanistic approach to any gathering would be marked by the overwhelming mindset of, ‘What can I get from this time” instead of “I desire to share whatever I have.” If our bent is toward self-centeredness, the primary motivation will be to make certain our personal needs are fulfilled (knowingly or unknowingly) above all else. Let’s give this an honest appraisal. Have you found from your own experience that most times these errant behaviors are exhibited has been the result of unmet expectations?
If people do not meet our expectations, does our undisciplined nature drive us to exhibit the behaviors specified in 2 Corinthians? Things like:
- quarreling with people
- possessing jealous thoughts
- quickly erupting into anger
- acting on selfish desires
- acting arrogantly
- lacking self-control
So how can we avoid setting ourselves and others up to such risky mile-high expectations? Love more than ever, be determined to let people off the hook, and trust that God is working powerfully in their life just like He is working powerfully in our own. Believe the Word when it says, “love covers a multitude of sins” and endeavor to love big and forgive often. You can do it.
In His grace,