In this letter to the Corinthians, Paul is addressing his concerns about the actions of some of the community and exhorting them to change their ways. He has warned them twice before and, if he sees the same problems when he arrives on his third visit, this troublesome group is going to be in big trouble.
Paul’s instructions to this community of believers apply to us even today. He says “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith”. We’ve probably all heard sermons suggesting we do this. The church year gives us seasons such as Lent and Advent where self examination and introspection are focal points. It doesn’t come naturally to take a hard, honest look at our faith, what we believe in and how we demonstrate our beliefs through our actions. Most of us don’t like to admit our weaknesses and shortcomings. But, it’s a healthy exercise. If we don’t acknowledge that there are areas where we are weak, we probably aren’t going to take advantage of opportunities to change and improve.
We need to take action; participating in programs at church, being with other believers, reading the Bible, spending time in prayer or being quiet with God. These activities will help us to become amenable so He can mold us and teach us. And, we don’t need to beat up on ourselves because we aren’t perfect. We are moving along a path to grow in character and move closer to being the person God desires us to be. God uses our weaknesses to do His work and illustrate to us and the world what can be accomplished through Him.“And that’s about it, friends. Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure.” The Message, v11.