By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you. (2 Cor. 10:1)
Expanded Passage: 2 Corinthians 10:1–2
Political elections are challenging because of all the noise they create. Candidates tend to use the microphone to defend their positions, while simultaneously shedding negative light on their opponent. Advertisements are filled with hateful and backbiting comments. The divisive noise shuts down opportunities to be heard.
Although Paul was not in a political election, he was in a situation where he needed to defend himself. Paul’s appeal could have been riddled with hurtful arguments. While proving his point, he could have shamed and shed a negative light on the church. Instead, although he was the recipient of mudslinging, Paul leaned on the humility and gentleness of Christ. Paul relied on Jesus’ example to ensure that his words were received rather than rejected. By entering the conversation with humility and gentleness, Paul’s message was heard and received by the Corinthians. Paul did not change his message, but his delivery impacted its effectiveness. He let Christ set the tone for the conversation, and the conversation proved to be effective. Paul let his words flow from a place of love instead of hurt.
The next time you are falsely accused or verbally attacked, ask yourself if your response mirrors the humility and gentleness of Christ, or the mudslinging of a political advertisement. Even when we are hurt by others, our words can demonstrate the love of God if we choose to let them.
Replace shouts with gentle words to be heard better.
Carla Working is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church. She serves as the Crossroads District’s chief operations officer (Indiana) and co-pastors with her husband.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.