2 Corinthians 3:Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; 3 and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
In Corinth Paul and his co-workers in the gospel were being challenged by leaders who had arrived after Paul and his colleagues had departed. It’s likely these new leaders had arrived with letters of recommendation and wondered if Paul had done the same. Well, no, he didn’t. But he didn’t need to because their very existence proved he was a genuine apostle. Before Paul – there was no church in Corinth!
“You yourselves are our letter…”
Some people particularly enjoy working with their hands because they have something tangible to show for their work. I get it. But as a pastor my work is generally connected to leading, developing, and caring for other people. And the nature of this work is such that it’s not always easy to know if what I’m doing is working. Sometimes results come right away, but usually not. It can take quite some time, even many years, to see the fruit of what I do.
But then there are times when spiritual breakthrough is visible. A person’s life is turned around, a family is reconciled, one’s sins are forgiven. And in those moments, when the saving work of the gospel is clearly visible, I remember why I do this work and thank God for the privilege.