This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority-the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Thoughts for Today:A few months ago, my daughter-in-law called to confirm our plans for my two grandsons to spend the weekend with us. Before we got off the phone, she asked if I would mind speaking to the boys about their lack of general obedience. She said, "This week has really been a challenge. Every time I ask them to do something I get an argument. Will you talk to them for me?" I said, "Sure, put them on the phone."
What I heard next was not their normal cheerful, "Hi, Grandpa!" It was much more reserved. They knew I would not be pleased. I said, "It sounds like you've been giving your Mom some problems." "Yeah, kind of." "I'm not very happy about that. Do you guys want to have some fun this weekend?" They both said, "Yeah!" "Well then, I had better hear a good report from your Mom when I pick you up. Got it?" They both answered in unison, "Got it, Grandpa!" I was pleased to hear they were the models of obedience for the remainder of the week.
In our passage today, Paul says, "I'm writing of these things, so that you can make corrections now. That way I won't be forced to spend our time together discussing, correcting and working on matters that we've previously discussed. Besides, you know better." His comment is really not too much different than my telephone conversation with my grandsons in advance of our weekend. Our time together would either be filled with fun, excitement and new things to discover, or it would involve moving the boys back into a spirit of obedience. It was their choice and based upon what they did to correct their behavior before they saw me. Just like the Corinthians.
Questions to Ponder:What behavior do you retain that you know is wrong and needs to be corrected? What are you waiting for; perhaps a significant discipline? It is far easier and less painful to fix problems on our own, rather than waiting for the Lord's correction. What has the Lord been speaking to you about? Will you bring discipline to your own behavior? The point is that discipline is on its way regardless of whether or not we choose to ignore or avoid it. So we may as well solve our own disobedience problems now.