Is there someone you know who is downcast? How can you help them today, and enable their sagging spirits to soar? This passage provides a clue, and we’ll get to the answer shortly.
When you love someone you will not willingly harm them. You might have to hurt them for their good, by chastising them (Paul’s experience with the Corinthians: 8ff) but you wouldn’t wrong them by corrupting or exploiting them (2) or wilfully doing bad things to them. Although Paul had received unjust criticism from some of the Christians in Corinth, out of his great big heart towards them he just wanted to bless them (4). He is a powerful example of a magnanimous, forgiving spirit. Others might want to grub around in the dirt, but he took the high road.
When you are going through difficult seasons in life, nothing lifts your spirits more than to know that there are people who love and care for you, and who are genuinely interested in your welfare. (This was also Paul’s recent experience with the Corinthian church: 6, 7).
Many people will be able to identify with Paul’s words: ”When we arrived in Macedonia province, we couldn’t settle down. The fights in the church and the fears in our hearts kept us on pins and needles. We couldn’t relax because we didn’t know how it would turn out. Then the God who lifts up the downcast lifted our heads and our hearts with the arrival of Titus. We were glad just to see him, but the true assurance came in what he told us about you: how much you cared, how much you grieved, how concerned you were for me. I went from worry to tranquility in no time!” The Message.
(According to 2 Cor.2:12, 13, Paul had gone to Macedonia to meet Titus. The latter was on the return leg from Corinth, carrying with him news of the church there. Titus had earlier been the ‘postman’, carrying to them a severe letter from Paul, and the apostle was concerned about how they had reacted to this (2 Cor.2:3). Had they become angry and rejected him totally? Or had they repented and obeyed his admonitions as they did in the early days. Such questions were preoccupying his mind as he journeyed to Macedonia to find Titus. Thankfully, Titus was carrying news that was music to Paul’s ears: 6, 7). Church leadership is never easy, and at times can be excruciatingly painful. Remember the burdens leaders bear. Keep them in your hearts and prayers and regularly encourage them.
So here’s how to lift up someone’s drooping morale today (and it may be a leader. It could be a great general in the church like Paul.) Be a ‘Titus’ to them. Your very going to be with them will encourage them. And if you carry a message that they are loved and cared for and thought about you will be doing a great work for the Kingdom.
”Have you ever been an answer to someone’s prayers as Titus was?” Warren W. Wiersbe: With the Word, p.760
Prayer: Make me a channel of blessing today.