2 Corinthians 6
"We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians. Our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also." - 2 Corinthians 6:11-13
Paul's relationship to the Corinthian church is as a father to his teenage children. As a parent, his heart is open wide. He wants to connect at deep level with the Corinthians believers. But many of the Corinthians are closed off (or partially closed off) to Paul. Paul urges the Corinthians to take charge of their sinful emotions and make the choice to widen their hearts to him.
When I was in my early twenties, I closed off my heart to my grandparents and aunt. I wanted to flirt with alternative worldviews and didn't want to hear anything more about Jesus or Christianity. They wrote letters to me, opening their hearts, sharing their concerns, and inviting me back into fellowship with God and themselves. They were hurt and no doubt confused by my lack of response. But they didn't stop praying and writing letters. Eventually I came to my senses and returned to the fold of Christ. My grandparents are now with the Lord, but my aunt is still with us, and with her I have sweet times of prayer over the phone. Our hearts are open wide to one another because we are in fellowship with God and one another. It feels good to have a wide open heart to those who are wide open to me. The love and acceptance is reassuring and encouraging.
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." - 1 John 1:7
Father, thank you that within the body of Christ we can be authentic, transparent, and vulnerable to one another and not face rejection. At least that's the way it should be. I pray that all of us will open our hearts to one another. Thank you this kind of openness happened at our biblical worldview camp this past weekend. Thank you for our small group times where we shared significant struggles, doubts, and questions with one another. Help us to open wide our hearts to one another in the light of the gospel, so that we can experience healing and walk in the light. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman