Sometimes church is a pain. Then there’s the church sign with good intentions, inviting everyone to learn what the Bible teaches about hell. The sign reads, “Do you know what hell is? Come hear our preacher.”
The apostle Paul opens his second letter to the Corinthians like this: “For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you” (2:4).
In the first five verses of this letter, Paul uses the Greek word for “pain” seven times. Quite a way to set the tone! Throughout all of his New Testament letters, Paul uses a form of the “pain” word 24 times, and 18 of them are in this letter.
“Want to know what pain is? Come hear Paul.” But the problem wasn’t Paul’s preaching. The problem was this church. It was, well, a pain.
Paul’s previous letter to them lists these pains. They were symptoms of sin. So Paul dealt with sin as the problem and forgave it.
If your church is willing to deal with its sins, God promises to forgive in the depth of his love for you. Faithful spiritual leaders will also be quick to forgive repentant churches with a depth of love.
Not all church problems are sin. When they are, don’t be afraid to address them. Or the pain will only get worse.