For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 2 Corinthians 12:20
Please read and/or listen to 2 Corinthians 12:19-13:4 today. In verse 20, Paul reveals one of his fears for the people of Corinth. It is a fear that they will be living in a way that has been influenced by the deceiver and the false narrative he has made part of their community. He lists the results of not living in truth. The result of living in a false narrative is the leading away from the narrative that is fueled by the truth of God and his word. It allows people to think that bad is good and good is bad. It allows sin to be not only tolerated but embraced and, at its worst, encouraged. Worldly perspective replaces eternal perspective and anthropocentric, or man-centered views take the place of theocentric, or God-centered views. These results are something that Paul dealt with in other churches as well. The list found in 2 Corinthians 12:20 matches closely the list of the works of the sinful nature found in Galatians 5:20-21. It is amazing to consider how a false narrative can create a culture where these results can flourish and thrive and not be addressed. In fact, in a circular way, these things fuel the false narrative and give it greater strength! Paul makes it clear that when he comes, he will be addressing these things. Look carefully over these results listed in Corinthians and Galatians. Are there any of these in your life? Of course, we all wrestle with them at some level, but is there an area in your life where you are participating in one or more of the activities above without feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit in you? If so, is there a way that you have allowed a false narrative to impact your life?