2 Corinthians 7:5 NKJV For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
Have you ever sent a difficult email? One of those emails, in which you needed to address some tough issues or relay some complex ideas and information. Immediately after clicking send you begin to wonder… was I clear, did that make sense, will they read that with the right heart, it needed said but was I too direct? After a few hours you check your email to see if you have a reply… nothing. Then you think, “I wonder if they’ve got my email? I wish I knew what they were thinking right now.” This can go on for hours or even days, depending on how frequently they check their email and of course how they reacted to your message. During that time fearful and anxious thoughts flow through you mind. This is what the Apostle Paul is referring to here in 2 Corinthians 7:5.
After Paul had sent 1Corinthians, which though we learn such empowering lessons from today and are encouraged by is also full of some very direct correction to people in the church and the churches leaders. He had hoped and planned to make a stop through the area to see them face to face, but circumstances hindered him from doing so. During the months that followed sending his letter he experienced fears regarding how it would be received. He even regretted ever writing it (2 Cor 7:8). That was until Titus returned safely and with news from Corinth.
Reading the rest of 2 Corinthians chapter 7 we find that Paul was ultimately please with how the letter was received, even though it did cause “sorrow” and upset the people, it pricked their hearts and led them to repentance. Paul wrote the letter not because he wanted to punish certain people, but because he loved the church. Even though his fears made him regret sending the letter for a moment, his love compelled him to do what was right. But it was his friend co-laborer Titus that encouraged Paul he had done the right thing. In this circumstance the Corinthians allowed the conviction of the Holy Spirit brought on by the truth in Paul’s letter to lead them to repentance, but not every situation always ends that way. Still, Titus brought an encouraging word to Paul that relieved his fears and worries. We all need people in our lives that when we have to do difficult things with the right motives, whom will encourage us and let us know we did the right thing. You could be one for someone else.
The next time you need to write a difficult email or are planning a difficult conversation: Check your heart and make sure your motives are right, Take time to plan and prepare what you will say, & talk to a trusted friend or mentor. They’ll either give you advice or correction you need or will encourage you so you can proceed without fear.