“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson
The former heavyweight boxing champ shared that bit of wisdom in response to a question about his concern about his opponent’s (Evander Holyfield) fight plan. The idea is pretty straight forward … lots of people can plan and talk a good game. Our ACTIONS and plans may be loud … but our REACTIONS are even louder.
Want to know what is really on the inside of someone? See how they REACT to things in the moment. This is not just true about others … it is true about us. We show our true colors in our reactions as much as our actions.
In 2 Corinthians 7:2-16, the Apostle Paul continues his letter to the Corinthian church, and once again is imploring them to stay open to him … to stay in relationship with him … for their mutual encouragement and for the growth of the gospel. Discord between the Corinthians and Paul would lead to impediments to the Gospel … so Paul again implored them to “open their hearts to him.” But his desire to keep the relationship with them strong did not prevent him from saying hard things. In fact, it was his great love for them that compelled him to speak up and challenge them on sin that was festering in their midst. In a sense, the Corinthian church had a plan … but they got hit in the mouth with a stern letter from the Apostle Paul. How would they react?
Well, the Corinthians responded with repentance and growth … thus demonstrating their true character. This greatly encouraged Paul, and it should greatly challenge us.
How do we respond when we are confronted with sin in our lives? Do we “attack the messenger”? Make excuses? Justify the behavior? Minimize its significance? Beat ourselves up with a “whoa is me” attitude? When we get punched in the mouth with confrontation from a brother or sister in Christ, how do we react?
This Sunday in the 8th and final part in our “Mission:Endure” series at Wildwood Community Church, we will look at these verses and see for ourselves the need and place for repentance in enduring on mission with Christ. Hope to see you there in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 service … and bring friends!