What Does The Letter Say?

“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men” (2 Cor 3:2 NASU)
Paul said the Corinthian church was his letter, known and read by all men. What was Paul’s meaning? It appears in those days itinerant preachers were able to travel and preach for various churches if they had letters of recommendation. Paul had none. Instead, Paul refers to the Christians at Corinth as his letters of recommendation. They had come out of paganism, were guilty of extreme immorality. After all, the corrupting influence of Corinth was widely known in the ancient world by the word “Corinthianize.” But Paul, after listing many of these sins, stated, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11 NASU). What a testimony of Paul’s life and teaching!
Obviously, if a letter is to be of any value, it has to be legible. If the ink has smeared or faded, it cannot be easily read. What about us as Christians? Can the world read the message of the cross when they hear our speech, see our behavior and notice our choices? Someone once said, “We may be the only Bible people will read.”
A letter must also be unambiguous. For example, a writing is ambiguous if there are grammatical errors, spelling mistakes or uses pronouns that prevent understanding of the antecedents. If we say, “Who does the ‘they’ refer to?” it would be ambiguous. These examples will suffice. Christians! We must present not only a legible life, the message must convey the true message from God. Are people getting the wrong message? Do we represent the Lord in every situation? Another said, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.”
Also, every letter has a tone. A letter can be negative, critical, or positive and uplifting. Is it constructive, or mean? Our lives have a tone as well. What effect does our lives have on others? At times, there needs to be righteous indignation over sin, but not directed at the person. We must be careful in our fallen nature not to trust our anger. We may have the wrong tone for a given situation.
Finally, is the letter worth keeping? Some letters are easily tossed away, but some that come from loved ones or valued friends, we may keep forever. Will we be cast out by the Lord or kept for eternity?
Not only are people reading our lives, so is the Lord.
Hymn: “More Holiness Give Me”
Dear loving Father in heaven, we know we must be the salt of the earth, and the light to the world. Give us strength to magnify Jesus in our lives. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA rredden604@aol.com