2 Corinthians 13:5-13
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. 10 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. 11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.
Nobody likes to be corrected and nobody likes having to correct other people but this is what Paul had to do with the Corinthian church.
This passage is the final words of several letters Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding the unacceptable behaviour of some of its members. Paul loved the Corinthians and found it hard to bring harsh correction in person so he wrote to them beforehand hoping they would change their behaviour before seeing them.
In verse 5 Paul shares an important principle. ‘Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith’. Possibly a simpler way of putting this would be ‘Examine your own behaviour to see if it is in line with what we believe’. The problem is, unless you practice it regularly self‑examination is not easy and sometimes quite painful.
So why is this important?
Because honest self‑examination is the first step to self-correction (repentance), but here is the interesting part. The love of God treats us in the same way as Paul did with the Corinthians, wanting us to sort out our own wrong doings in private long before any form of public correction is needed.
Dear God, today in my own private prayer space I ask you to bring to my awareness one thing I need to change and by your grace give me the power to change it. Amen.
Written by David Newton