Tuesday, 1 September 2015
O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 2 Corinthians 6:11
In what is the most personal appeal in his letters, Paul directly and openly calls out to the Corinthians. In only two other letters does he directly name his recipients – Galatians 3:1 and Philippians 4:15. But this address to the Corinthians is most personal in nature. The term “we have spoke openly to you” is literally “our mouth is opened to you.” It is a way of saying that a free and full use of language has been imparted to them, holding nothing back.
It is his way of saying that everything said thus far has been candid and unreserved, culminating in the words of the previous verses which showed everything that the apostles had gone through for the sake of their hearers, which included those in Corinth. From there he said, “our heart is wide open.” More literally, “our heart has been expanded.” The Pulpit Commentary helps to explain this –
“After writing the foregoing majestic appeal, he felt that he had disburdened his heart, and as it were made room in it to receive the Corinthians unreservedly, in spite of all the wrongs which some of them had done him.”
The use of the words “mouth” and “heart” in the same thought is not unique to this verse. It is also used by Jesus in Matthew 12 in a negative sense –
“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34
Also, Paul uses it concerning the process of salvation in Romans 10 –
“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9, 10
Life application: Sometimes it is good to clear out our thoughts to others before we can tell them how much they mean to us. Paul tenderly corrected his hearers on points of contention, but he then moved to his words of love and tender affection for them. If we follow this pattern, we can get such difficulties behind us and move on with the freedom of hearts which are no longer burdened.
Heavenly Father, personal conflict is one of the things I really dislike dealing with. And yet, unless I do, my heart remains burdened with the thing that has affected my relationship. Fear of losing a friend then is mixed with the stress of carrying the offense around. Help me to deal with times like this in a way which will keep me from losing the important person in my life and yet freeing me from the heavy weight my heart feels. Be with me in such times for a happy resolution to the trial. Amen.