Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
I laughed to myself when I heard a preacher admit from his pulpit, “I know that I’m just standing up here saying the same thing over and over.” (I observed that his confession did not lead to a quick conclusion of the message.)
I love messages simply crafted, clearly delivered, which get effectively to the point. As I have read through the letters of Paul, Peter, John, and James countless times I am always struck when they conclude with a quick, and to the point, summation. In today’s chapter, Paul concluded his letter to the believers of Jesus in the city of Corinth with this summation:
- Be joyful.
- Grow to maturity.
- Encourage each other.
- Live in harmony and peace.
It’s like a quick check list. Without consciously thinking about it I read this one short list and find myself asking, “How am I doing?” as I read through each bullet. Questions abound. Am I joyful? Why or why not? Am I growing more mature? How do I know? What signs can I point to in my life? Am I encouraging others? Who? How? Am I living in harmony with others? What’s discordant? What is in harmony? Where am I sharp? Where am I flat?
I then find myself seeking one thing I can do today to experience joy, to grow, to encourage or to live in peace and harmony. One thing to keep pressing on towards my goal.
Quick, clear, concise, and to the point.
Got it. Let’s roll.
- 2 Corinthians 13 (vesselsofclay.org)
- good grief (paparon.wordpress.com)
- Of Evil and Good (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- Simple, Honest, Straightforward (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Checklists – Get it Right, Repeat, Get it Right Again (teamworksblog.com)