Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
2 Corinthians 1:12-19 (NRSV)
Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God—and all the more toward you. For we write you nothing other than what you can read and also understand; I hope you will understand until the end— as you have already understood us in part—that on the day of the Lord Jesus we are your boast even as you are our boast.
Since I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a double favor; I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been “Yes and No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not “Yes and No”; but in him it is always “Yes.”
Sounds like the church in Paul’s time might have had some of the same communication problems our churches today experience. Paul had planned to visit the church at Corinth but had changed his plans. Someone must have accused Paul of being indecisive or unable to make up his mind, or perhaps suggested that he hadn’t been honest or sincere about his plans. So Paul is defending himself, reminding them that he had always been frank and sincere in his writings to them, and pointing out that while his plans had changed, the message he brought about Jesus was consistent.
Centuries after Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, one of the big challenges for churches today remains communication. Who is using the Fellowship Hall this Saturday? Did anyone order the new Sunday School material? Why didn’t the pastor know about my Aunt Carol’s surgery last Tuesday? We get irritated because one committee didn’t run their plans by the other, or someone forgot to book a room for their committee meeting. No doubt every church could benefit from better communication, but as long as we are consistent in the message we deliver about Christ, we are communicating best what matters most.
God of all, allow your grace to flow through us in all our interactions. Help us hear without jumping to conclusions, ask without demanding, listen with generosity of spirit. Most of all, give us clarity and consistency as we proclaim your Son to the world. In His name, we ask it,
Go with God!