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Chapter 5th: Corinthians - It Takes a Conversation Sometimes

1st Corinthians is actually 2nd Corinthians and 2nd Corinthians is probably 4th Corinthians. What!? When did this happen? I remember when I was introduced to this reality and my lack of knowledge was brought up to speed to with what actually happened in the Bible. For some reason, it had never occurred to me that there might have been more than two letters written to such a crazy and struggling church such as Corinth. It never occurred to me that Paul's interaction, conversations, debates, conflicts, arguments, questions, answers, make-ups, apologies, and talks with the Corinthian church might have taken place in MORE than just two simple letters. It was simple in my mind. Paul declares, church listens, the end. I realized that Paul's conversation with the Corinthians took place over years. Over hundreds of cups of coffee. With lots of different opinions. With people trying really hard to actually say what they thought they said. Saying it with emotions. And then with less emotions and more thought. Then saying it with love and the intention of actually listening and hearing what the other person said. We try to speed things up in our minds because we are so hard-wired to "instants". Instant gratification. Instant food. Instant information. Instant resolution. Instant. We can watch a 30 minute TV show and 'live instantly'. We are introduced to characters, embedded in a plot, awed by effects, confused by a plot, brought to a state of emotional crisis, experience resolution and even watch a romantic relationship bud, germinate and die - all in 30 minutes. And that includes 12 minutes of advertisements! But the human heart doesn't work that fast in real life. It lives one heartbeat at a time - no faster - no matter what. It needs time and repetition to get where it is supposed to take us. It can't go any faster than one beat at a time. And we get frustrated because we want to skip a few beats and get right to the end. Declare a solution! Force resolution. Speed up the answer. But most times it takes a little more time. More patience. More conversation. It's going to take more than one episode. Maybe even longer than a season! You have to work a little bit harder, show a little more love, and work through the difference a few times. Definitely more than once. That's called a conversation...not a declaration. “At times the strength of spiritual community lies in the love of people, who refrain from getting caught in the trap of trying to fix everything for us, who pray for us and allow us the pain of our wilderness, our wants, so that we may be more deeply grounded in God.” - Rosemary Dougherty

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