”Behold you are fair my love! Behold, you are fair” [Song of Solomon 4:1]
We were watching the story of Henry VIII again the other day and saw the blatant selfishness and power struggle that birthed a whole new denomination and dynasty of ‘church’. Way back before King Henry the church at Corinth was no different, and Paul modeled and mirrored how to respond to our fellow Christians who struggle with relationships.
First, Paul always appreciated others. “I always thank God for you…” Every person who comes into our life is of great value to God and we are called to honor and respect those in the family of God.
Second, Paul always encouraged others. “For in him you have been enriched in every way…” [v5] Recognizing and encouraging the unique giftedness of others creates an environment of freedom necessary for spiritual growth and development.
Third, Paul always affirmed them. “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift…” [v7] Speaking positive words of affirmation will reflect how our heavenly Father sees each one and how greatly they are blessed to be a blessing.
Fourth, Paul always assured them. “He will keep you strong to the end…our Lord is faithful” [v9] Regardless of weakness, regardless of mistakes and even during this time of trouble and strife , Paul saw a ‘teachable moment’, but he understood the one that carries His Name is always appreciated, always encouraged, always affirmed and always assured.
Further Reading: Solomon 4 – Psalm 31 – Proverbs 31