Bible Society of South Africa
3 April 2024Xanthe Hancox

Focus your faith on Him – Day 10

Open up

Bible text(s)

11Dear friends in Corinth! We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide. 12It is not we who have closed our hearts to you; it is you who have closed your hearts to us. 13I speak now as though you were my children: show us the same feelings that we have for you. Open your hearts wide!

2 Corinthians 6:11-13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Paul loved the people in Corinth, and he showed that love in various ways towards them. He demonstrated it, as he says above, by two special things. The first is by speaking freely to them. That means he communicated with them; he told them what was going on in his own life; he shared with them his feelings, struggles, failures, pressures and problems, and he let them know how he coped with them. That is always a mark of love. To open up to others is to love them.

This is something many of us experience, even in our churches. We often think it’s better to keep how we feel and where we are in our lives to ourselves, to be private, closed-in people. We’re told to fake it until you make it, dress for the job you want and a hundred other lines that make absolutely sure no one knows what’s really going on inside. Being a Christian, means doing the opposite and speaking freely.

The second way Paul showed his love to the people of Corinth was by opening his heart wide. There was no favouritism, he includes the whole congregation. He did not merely open his heart to the nice people among them. He loved them all: the difficult ones, the ones who were struggling and the “hard-to-get-along-with” ones as well. There were no preconditions that he demanded before he would love somebody in the congregation either. He accepted them as they were. Though he knew their struggles, their weaknesses, their heartaches, their failures and their resistance, he loved them.

The problem was that they did not love him in return. This is the problem in churches, in individual lives, in homes, families and in marriages today. We fail to understand the reciprocal nature of love. Love is a two-way street. Love requires a response. Paul was loving them, but they were not loving him back. They were closed; they were unresponsive; they were coldly self-contained towards him. They withheld their affections, imprisoned within the narrow boundaries of their own selfish lives.

That is why Paul pleads with the Corinthians to open their hearts.

Speaking freely stretches us and makes us vulnerable. Are we learning to be open-hearted to all and thereby loving, for Christ’s sake and by his power?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.19.0
Find us on