May 7
The Christian March of Triumph
2 Corinthians 2:4-17

Key Verse: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2 Corinthians 2:14

Trouble in the church at Corinth had resulted in the discipline of a man. The man had been isolated from the fellowship because of his sin. That this should happen is not surprising.

What is surprising is that Paul is crying because of this man's grief and that of the church itself. He writes to the church "out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears" to let the people know the depth of his love for them.

Here is a beautiful example of what our attitude should be toward those who have sinned and disrupted the fellowship of believers. Paul wept intensely out of a desire that the man be forgiven and restored to fellowship. Would to God that we might have that same spirit toward our brothers and sisters who have sinned.

Sadly, that is not always the case. We are not always eager to be reconciled to those who need our forgiveness. Instead of offering them our love, we are slow to reach out with the offer of a new beginning. How long, for example, has it been since you have wept over a brother or a sister has been lost to our fellowship because of sin?

If we are to march to victory over sin, in the power of Christ, we must learn to swallow our pride and, like our Lord, offer forgiveness to others. Such a forgiving spirit becomes a sweet fragrance in human relationships, causing others to smell "the aroma of Christ" in our presence.

Apart from tears, however, we need not expect such a spirit in ourselves. But when the tears flow, from a broken heart, as they did with Paul, then God begins to work in mighty ways.