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Today’s devotion is based on 1 Corinthians 5.

Truth in Love

I’ve known a lot of leaders over the years. They’ve all had different personalities, too, with different strengths and weaknesses.

I admit that I used to have a favorite type of leader. I just responded better to certain personalities. For instance, I wasn’t a big fan of the super intense type of leader. I preferred a more congenial, laid-back kind of leader.

After a while, though, I realized that my prejudice for a certain leadership style was preventing me from learning what other leaders had to offer. I needed to rethink my thinking about leadership styles. I’ve since learned to appreciate what different kinds of leaders have to offer.

In today’s passage, we see Paul wearing the mantle of strong leadership. His letter to the church in Corinth is a response to some disturbing reports he’s received. Some of the church members aren’t following Christ’s teachings, so Paul wants to come alongside the congregation and share the truth of Christ with them. But since he now lives far away, Paul’s only option is to write a letter.

One of the biggest issues facing the church in Corinth is their tendency to turn a blind eye to blatant sin by members of the congregation. So Paul directly addresses this matter. He doesn’t get all blustery and start calling people names. He doesn’t try to shame people into changing their behavior either.

Paul simply speaks the truth in love.

He doesn’t shy away from the situation at hand. He deals with it. Head on. But he’s also careful to admonish the church to be extra gracious to those outside the church. Only God can judge an unbelieving heart.

When it comes to judging, that’s God’s business. Not ours.

Paul wasn’t a warm-fuzzy kind of leader. He wasn’t a fun-loving sort of guy. Paul had an intense personality, and his intensity made a lot of people weary of him. But once he surrendered his life to Jesus, his intensity became one of his greatest assets in serving the kingdom.

In my younger years, I might have been put off by Paul’s bluntness. I might have bristled at his directness. But the older I get, the more I can appreciate the boldness of a decisive leader.

Denise J. Hughes

A lover of words and the Word. Author of #DeeperWaters and the #WordWriters Bible studies.

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