Perhaps more than most, Paul went through testing situations. As we begin our new week, what trials await us? Are we anticipating tension with co-workers, family or neighbours? In reality, it’s not the trials we may fear, but how to handle them. Here we are given an example of how St. Paul handled one difficult situation.
The church in Corinth was a troublesome bunch. They had been defying Paul’s authority, questioning anything he said. In another letter he had expressed his intention to visit them in person, but apparently changed his mind and wrote this letter instead.
St. Paul could be as outspoken and argumentative as anyone, but in this case the Spirit guided him to avoid direct confrontation and, rather than begin a vicious verbal argument, he chose to make a stand by sending the written word alone.
We discovered in our group that a few have used this method with some success. We are allowed to express how we feel without the appearance of an attack and the inevitable counterattack. St. Paul also chose wisely in offering forgiveness. Let’s make use of this wisdom in our own lives.
Gracious Lord, be with me when tensions mount so that, like St. Paul, your Spirit will guide me through confrontation of any kind. Allow me to also be forgiving of others. Amen. — LGR