Covenant Group Study blog  

Focus Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6: 11 – 7:1 and 2 Corinthians 7: 2 - 16

Last week, I was not able to write since our web service was experiencing … technical difficulties. We had a good in class discussion on what it means to be Holy, to be “Set apart.” There comes a point in our walk with God that we come to know Him through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We also come to know Him through our relationships with one another. Remember how we talked about being equally yoked – do not ever plow using an ox and a mule. Well, those relationships we have with each other – they should be at once Holy and encouraging.

Encouragement; It was as delicate a matter in Paul’s day, as it is now. If you look up Encouragement in a Thesaurus, you will see synonyms like: boost, impulse, goad, impetus, motivation, spur, yeast and more. It’s kind of a mixed bag. It is evident that it is possible to encourage both effectively as well as destructively, if we are not careful. This is why it is imperative that we study scripture and allow God to write it on our hearts in a comprehensive manner.

For example, in Matthew 7: 12 and Luke 6: 31, Jesus teaches us, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” So if a friend comes to us that needs encouragement that requires the encouragement of goad, spur and motivation – how do you respond? How should we respond?

Because the world does not know Jesus, truth has become subjective. The world says there is no absolute truth; but as brothers and sisters in Christ we are charged with caring for one another. Now, keep in mind – there is a difference – huge difference – between gentle encouragement and bashing someone with scripture. So, as we recall that we are to do to others whatever we would like them to do to us – we must be honest with ourselves. If I were this friend, how would I want this handled? Discreetly? Firmly? Lovingly? Honestly?

Or should I simply paint a rosy picture? Lie a little bit – it’s only a white lie to encourage them, right? Or puffing their ego up a bit? No harm, right? Ummm, No. Now, in this example – that can be a really clear decision; but do we have the steadfastness of Paul to pursue Christ and the Holy Spirit in ALL SITUATIONS.

This encouragement is filled with grace, rooted in mercy and transformed by forgiveness. Our lives, as Christians are to be simultaneously lived in relationship with God AND those whom He places within the framework of our lives. Remember: we are to be Holy – Set apart for God. Are their relationships that require healing? Let us bring them before the LORD. This is another part one of two Blog; so we will discuss this some more next time. Praise God.

Amen.

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