2 minute read.
Daily Verse: “Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.” (2 Corinthians 7:2 ESV)
PTHEIRO (5351): “Signifies “to destroy by means of corrupting,” and so “bringing into a worse state” in 2 Cor 7:2, of the effects of dishonorable dealing by bringing people to want (a charge made against the apostle).”[i]
Paul wants the whole affection of the Corinthians, but he faces accusations of causing moral and financial distress to innocent victims by exploiting them. Some of the Corinthians believed the allegations. Paul says he didn’t commit the crime and begs them to look at the truth of his actions.
Corrupting someone means leaving them in a worse state than when you met them. When a drug dealer offers an innocent child an addictive substance, he corrupts them. Any type of unfavorable influence can leave someone in a worse state.
If my husband comes home in a bad mood, he can corrupt me. Peace becomes tension. However, if Ron comes home from work joyous, he can turn my frown upside down. Our actions impact those around us.
Paul didn’t corrupt the Corinthians; he uplifted them. Understanding his role as a Christ follower, Paul knew he must encourage, not discourage. Following Jesus makes life better, not worse. Christ pulls us from the mud and cleanses us, making us whole.
To help people discover Jesus, we must not corrupt. Following Christ means taking every opportunity to uplift and encourage the people in our lives. Paul didn’t take advantage of anyone, and neither should we.
Everyone struggles in this world. You may not see someone’s issues, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Help people find Jesus by not making their lives worse. Don’t take your bad mood out on them; give grace when offended, and look for ways to help them, not hurt them.
When we intentionally uplift and encourage the people in our lives, God willing, they will begin to do the same for others. As the ripple effect of love and kindness spreads through the world, we will find it in a better state, not worse.
[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 263) Thomas Nelson