2Corinthians 13 “Do I Have to?”
When children are being disciplined they are often sent to their rooms to “think about it.” Paul is saying to his beloved Corinthian children to think about their faith and their character as a child of God. A child is still a parent’s child but they are to think about their actions as related to their status. The Corinthians were to examine themselves, not for their salvation, for Paul had affirmed that over and over. They were to be fruit inspectors and examine or test themselves ‘in the faith.’
So how does one test to see if you are in the faith?
This is not a list of “do’s and don’ts’. Instead Paul infers that one must check one’s lifestyle that is apparent to all. We could begin in Matthew 5 with the “Be-Attitudes.” As kingdom people we are to demonstrate kingdom character qualities: poor in spirit, mourning over personal sin, meekness under pressure, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. These character qualities are observable in kingdom people’s conduct: merciful to others, pure in heart; and being a peacemaker. As others observe our character and our conduct they can see that we are God’s child because we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit with His fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Beloved, you are not being “sent to your room” because you need to check your status as God’s child, but you are being asked to examine your life according to the character of God. How do you stack up?