Conflict is a fact of life in our sinful world. Find out how to resolve it.
Read / Listen to the chapter:
Read the chapter in an outlined format
2 Corinthians 13 (ESV)
1 This is the third time I am coming to you.
Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
2 I warned those who sinned before and all the others,
and I warn them
now while absent,
as I did when present on my second visit,
that if I come again I will not spare them—
3 since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me.
is not weak in dealing with you,
but is powerful among you.
4 For he was crucified in weakness,
but lives by the power of God.
For we also are weak in him,
but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.
Or do you not realize this about yourselves,
that Jesus Christ is in you?—
unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—
not that we may appear to have met the test,
but that you may do what is right,
though we may seem to have failed.
8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong.
Your restoration is what we pray for.
10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you,
that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me
for building up
and not for tearing down.
11 Finally, brothers, rejoice.
Aim for restoration,
comfort one another,
agree with one another,
live in peace;
and the God
of love and peace
will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints greet you.
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13 Summary
As we finish this letter, it's good to once again be reminded what occasioned it. As an apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul has been given both the authority and the responsibility to see to it that Christ's Church turns away from sin.
In love, Paul wrote this letter so that further discipline is no longer needed. Paul goes on in v10 to state that his disciplinary authority (an authority also given to the elders of the church) is meant for building you up, not tearing you down.
Arguments, disagreement and strife are facts of life in our fallen world, even between solid Christians. When (not if) discord strikes, the easy thing to do is just walk away from what may seem to be a hopeless situation.
But this chapter gives the Biblical model for handling these situations in v11:
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Step one in bringing people back together seems out of place. It seems like rejoicing should come if and when the problem's been fixed, not before. But Paul has just reminded us a few verses earlier that we can have great confidence, even coming into trials, because we've passed the test in Christ. Therefore we can rejoice in hope even as we face difficulties.
2) AIM FOR RESTORATION
If you aim for something less, you'll probably hit the easier, but less desirable target.
3) COMFORT ONE ANOTHER
Listen and observe how your actions injured the other person, then bring the necessary comfort and encouragement to heal the wound.
4) AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER
It's amazing how much common ground even the most diametrically opposed people have. Finding the areas of agreement often helps identify solutions in areas of disagreement.
5) LIVE IN PEACE
This doesn't mean to passively ignore or gloss over problems, but to actively share the grace, love and fellowship our Triune God has shown you (v14).
When you endeavor to do these things, it's not guaranteed that all your conflicts will disappear, but you can be certain that the God of all love and peace will be with you no matter what.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our God is the One who appeared weak on earth, but remains all powerful, reigning over all things.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to enable you to 'rejoice and to strive for full restoration, to encourage one another, to be of one mind, and to live in peace.'
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: