So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.
Thoughts for Today:As parents, we know the easiest thing to do is ignore the problems we see in our children. But we also know it's a formula for disaster. In speaking to young parents, I often liken their role to that of a park ranger who is constantly on the lookout for the beginnings of a forest fire. From the ranger's platform, high above the trees, they watch for any sign of potential danger. What do they look for? Smoke. Why? Because it's the first warning of what could ultimately become a devastating and destructive fire. So what do they do when they see smoke? Do they stay in the tower and hope it goes away? No, of course not. They climb down from the tower to investigate the source of their concern. They need to verify: Is it a problem, or is it not? The only way to find the answer is to look into it.
The same is true in parenting. We demonstrate how much we love our children when we are involved in their lives -- having conversations and being interested in what captures their attention. It also leads to providing the guidance and discipline necessary to help our children walk the straight path. In our passage today, when it comes to the issue of morality in the church, Paul says, "I didn't do this for my own gain, for the benefit of the person who did wrong, nor on account of the injured party. I did it because I care about you in the sight of God and I want you to do well!" It is the same reason that we must be involved in the lives of our children (and to some degree our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers). But not because we're busybodies, meddlers, or simply enjoy making other people miserable. Our only desire should be to bring glory to God -- which develops within us a deep-rooted concern for the well-being and salvation of everyone.
Questions to Ponder:Our walk is a more telling and valuable testimony to others, regarding the benefits of righteous living, than our words could ever be. What is your life saying to your children, those at work, or your neighbors? Is God glorified? Is your faith demonstrated by your life?