Specific Text: 2 Corinthians 7:8-12
As an important step in becoming a doctor, medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath. And one of the promises within that oath is “first, do no harm.” Yet just about every procedure they do begins with poking a hole in a person or cutting them open. Of course, in the big picture, these small instances of harm are vastly outweighed by the good that will result.
The Corinthians had big time problems that were causing all sorts of pain and dragging them away from God. Paul had a choice: either he could do no harm and stay out of their issues, or he could shine the light of God's truth on their actions, which would inevitably end up hurting their feelings and potentially end their friendship. Paul chose this second option, and lovingly yet firmly confronted them about their sin. And sure enough, it hurt their feelings.
But Paul wasn't injecting his own opinion into the mix when he scolded them, his goal was to lead them to repentance, which would both restore their relationship with each other, and more importantly their relationship with God. Paul did harm them, but like a doctor with a needle, the small amount of harm he did brought them healing.
You will find yourself on both sides of this equation in life. There will be times when you need to have the courage to confront your own good friends or family, and there will be times when they need to confront you. But if you've surrounded yourself with solid Christian people whose primary desire is to grow closer to God, you can be at peace knowing these confrontations, which are first awkward and painful, will ultimately be beneficial.
Prayer For The Day: Dear God, help me to diagnose my own problems and seek to treat them before they injure me further. Thank you for placing people in my life to hold me accountable and keep me close to you. Help be to submit to the godly advice they offer. Help me also to lovingly correct them when necessary in a way that builds them up and strengthens our faith. All this I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.