2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. “Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” 2 I warned those who sinned previously and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again, I will not be lenient— 3 since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. 4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God. 

The tone of this passage is tense. The apostle Paul has spent most of this letter defending himself against his critics. In this section of the letter he gives warning of an upcoming visit to Corinth in which he will forcefully deal with his detractors once and for all. It’s obvious that Paul has great affection for the people, but that affection will not prevent him from dealing with some unpleasant business.

Let’s face it. Sometimes it’s just easier to let problems go than to confront them. Confrontation takes time and energy and fortitude that I don’t always have. And, of course, I’m never sure how that sort of conversation is going to go. What if the thing blows up in my face? What if I just make things worse? What if it turns out I’m partly, if not completely, to blame for the situation? Better to just let it go, right?

Well, no. Not right. Being a grown-up means dealing with problems even when I’d rather not. This morning I’m owning the fact that I have some growing to do in this area. Question: Is there a problem you’re aware of that you’re avoiding?

Lord Jesus, living in community with others means dealing with problems. Give us grace to step up when we’d rather not. Amen.

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