Impact

I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. 2 Corinthians 12:21

Would you please read and/or listen to 2 Corinthians 12:19-13:4 again today? In verse 21 we get a glimpse into the impact the lifestyle choices of the Corinthians would have on Paul. Throughout the letter we see again and again Paul sharing his heart for them. He considers himself their father and he has a very vested interest in their spiritual health and maturity. Not only does he fear for them; he has anxiety for them (11:28). He has called them to repentance that would come from godly grief (7:10-11). He has called them to holiness (7:1). He has cared for them, nurtured them, and instructed them for the Lord (12:19b). Many have repented but many have not. Some have not seen their sin as bad enough to repent of. Others have been so led astray that they do not see their sin. The false teachers and narrative have made is so that Paul fears that God may humble him before them. The impact of their actions is that Paul will be spiritually humbled before God for their disgraceful, unrepentant lifestyle. He is not fearful of their judgement; rather, he fears God. He knows that he is accountable to the Lord for, and he accepts responsibility for it. The people of Corinth who are living in rebellion have no idea of the impact their choices have on Paul. It is easy to live in ignorance, thinking that our sins do not impact others’ lives, but Scripture is clear that every sin, even those done in secret, impact the effectiveness of the ministry of the cross. It also impacts the lives of the leaders who are seeking to guide us for the Lord.