3We don't want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems. 4But in everything and in every way we show we truly are God's servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times. 5 We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food. 6But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, and our love has been real. 7We have spoken the truth, and God's power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right.
8Whether we were honored or dishonored or praised or cursed, we always told the truth about ourselves. But some people said we did not. 9We are unknown to others, but well known to you. We seem to be dying, and yet we are still alive. We have been punished, but never killed, 10and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. Although we are poor, we have made many people rich. And though we own nothing, everything is ours.
11Friends in Corinth, we are telling the truth when we say there is room in our hearts for you. 12We are not holding back on our love for you, but you are holding back on your love for us. 13I speak to you as I would speak to my own children. Please make room in your hearts for us.
Every encounter we have ought to bring a person closer to the fullness of the gospel.
Every person born on this planet bears the image of Christ. It’s our job to help them realize their true identity.
That’s why we have been called to a different standard of living that looks much different than the world.
Paul lists a variety of hardships that will likely occur in our choice to live a resounding Christian life. No matter the hardships we ourselves or those in our purview may experience, it is clear that in any situation our goal is to show that we are true ministers of God, faithfully sharing truth and known by our sincere love.
Our words and actions echo the disposition of our hearts. So even in adversity and when…Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10)
As we seek to embody and share the gospel, it’s our daily choices that will make all the difference in our life and ministry.
God, we pray that your Holy Spirit will provide us with the supernatural ability to build a bridge to every person we encounter. May our hearts be full of your wisdom and our minds tuned to you so that every word we say bears strong testimony and leads people to understand who you are, who you have made them to be, inviting them to live in the fullness of hope and freedom your salvation offers. Amen.