Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2Cor. 5:17 NIV
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The last visit of the Apostle Paul to the Church in Corinth obviously did not go well as it seemed he left them feeling very offended by some of the comments of the people there. He had planned to visit them, move from their to Macedonia and return to Judea which was his base passing through Corinth – 2Cor. 1:16-17. He had to change his plans in what seemed like he was not sticking to the promise he made to the Corinthians to return to Judea passing Corinth, but which according to him was to save them from further grieve due to the events that surrounded his earlier visit – 2Cor. 1:23 – 2:2.
His letter also seemed to have caused additional grief to him and the Church in Corinth but he admitted he had to write that letter to be able to address some of their shortcomings out of love – 2Cor. 2:3-5. Comments questioning his claim to being an Apostle may have been made by some people during their meetings but he has forgiven all those who made such comments if the members have also forgiven such members in an attempt to ensure that Satan is not given an opportunity to outwit and divide the brethren – 2Cor. 2:7-11. He made it clear that he remains a Minister of the New Covenant and does not need letter of recommendation as the work he has done in Corinth is enough evidence of his claim to discipleship – 2Cor. 3:1-5. He concluded with the scripture for today that letters kill but the spirit gives life – 2Cor. 3:6.
Many Christians there are today who are facing the kind of challenge that the Apostle Paul faced with some of the members in Corinth. Due to disagreements, all their contributions to the growth of the Church is nullified and disregarded with negative comments being made by people who ordinarily should be honouring them for their achievements within the fold beginning to question their Christian credentials. Suddenly they become unimportant and unnoticed. They may not be as lucky as Apostle Paul, who at least had some people on his side that were able to bring such erring members back to their senses and get them to apologise.
Such Christians should however take solace in the comment of the Apostle Paul that human commendations will have no significant value compared with spiritual achievements. According to the Apostle Paul, all those letters of recommendation by men will not serve much purpose compared to the spiritual impact that such people may have made. The Bible confirms that the kingdom of God is not in words but in demonstration of power (1Cor. 4:20), power itself being the product of spiritual operation – Acts 1:5-8. With men, people of immense spiritual impact may not have any approvals or recognition but the Almighty God does not assess people based on human valuation or letters written by men, but by the spiritual impact that they have on the body of Christ. Such Christians like the Apostle Paul should console themselves with the positive manifestation of their spiritual activities as that is more important than any human acknowledgement, honour or recognition.
So which is your choice? The human letters of recommendation or the spiritual recognition by the Almighty God? If it is the former, then you do not really need to work too hard for that but note that it has not value with the assessment of the Almighty God. Work with the aim of creating a positive spiritual impact as that remains what is of interest to judge of the whole earth. May God grant us the Grace to meet his assessment of our works on earth in Jesus name. Amen.