I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. - 2 Cor 7:3 NASB
Relationships take work and time to be all they can be. In my previous few posts we've been making our way through 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 where Paul seems to be pleading his case for why the Christians in Corinth should accept him. We've addressed the affects pride and priorities can have on the amount of blessings we receive from relationships. Today, I will address why patience is a necessity.
We are an impatient people. Our fast-paced, instant-gratification, mobile society has taken a toll on everything in our lives. We quickly change activities and jobs at the drop of the hat. If something takes effort to repair, we just toss it out and buy a new one. Unfortunately, I think this thought process also transfers to our relationships. I don't think God meant this to be so.
All types of relationships require varying degrees of patience from the two parties involved. To illustrate, most of us have heard of the "inner" and "outer" circle. With us in the center, the closer a person is to us within the circle, the more patience is required because more intimacy is involved. For example, a marriage partner is closest to us, our closest friends/family next. Acquaintances belong in the outer part of the circle. Because we don't interact as much with those farthest away from the middle, less patience is required.
In our passage above, Paul considered the recipients of his letter to be somewhat close to him. He obviously felt that God put them in his life for a lifetime because he says that they are "to die together and to live together". He knew them and he'd labored for them. He obviously had patience with them and expected the same in return. Later in the passage, Paul goes on to express the blessings of their connection.
Relationships take work. Some require more than others. Some deserve more than others. How hard are you willing to work for the blessings that come from those God has put into your life?
Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her other blog at www.purposefulleadershipblog.com.