2 Corinthians 13
v9 – “Your restoration is what we pray for.”
My high school days were a long time ago. I do, however, remember a few of my teachers. The best was the man who appeared to be an ogre. Initially we were terrified. The stories passed down by older kids made our hair curl. He did not put up with any nonsense. Corporal punishment (permitted that long ago in that corner of darkest Africa) was dispensed liberally. Yet as time went on, we realized that we laughed a lot in his classroom. Especially at the miseries ceremonially dispensed to our classmates who forgot cardinal rules like “It’s called Sellotape, not sticky-tape!” We also learned a lot, not just his subject but how to get along in life. He was a wise man who understood the minds of 15 year old boys, and worked with us to grow us up and helped us think.
This passage reminds me of him. Paul is appearing harsh and rigid. Yet his passion for the Corinthians’ well-being burns bright and is the reason for his discipline. His love for them supports yet softens all the ranting that has gone before. As in all his letters, he ends with sage advice on how to grow as a body:
Aim for restoration
Comfort one another
Agree with one another
Live in peace
Seems obvious because we are so familiar with his writings. But are we actually doing them; consistently?