April 13, 2021
Masks fear wears. There are several, did you know that?
The fact that there are masks that fear wears is something that I was unaware of until recently. It really came to light fully this morning as I joined in with my wonderful Faith Mamas Tribe reading and discussing 2 Corinthians chapter 2. We ended up focusing mainly on the following verses – (5-11)
5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NIV
As I was reading along with Dominique, I wondered if this “him” Paul is talking about in these verses could possibly be the man mentioned in 1 Corinthians. The one who was being tolerated rather than disciplined for his sinful sexual relationship with his step mother.
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 NIV
Who was this man?
Now, there isn’t anything for sure to tell us if that is who was being referenced in 2 Corinthians, but what matters is there is someone who is being disciplined, Paul even says “punished” here, and he is repentant. Paul is calling out the church of Corinth for not now comforting him – overwhelming him with sorrow beyond what God would have.
Paul doesn’t delineate the offense here, and I believe that is because (at least partially) the offense itself does not matter. What matters is the man’s repentance and desire to be reconciled. The Corinthians are still being unforgiving, non-empathetic and refusing to restore him. When there is true repentance, restoration and reconciliation should take place. It is a picture of God’s grace; it IS the gospel story. Repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are the reason the cross was endured by Jesus, and for his death, and burial. They are the entire point of his defeat of death on Easter morning.
Fears Masks – Fear in a Faith costume
Fear’s Masks in 1 and 2 Corinthians
Ok, so where do we see masks that fear wears in this passage? It’s not mentioned by name, but we can see the masks fear wears if we look into this situation.
We can see fear masked as