“Make room in your hearts for us.” 2 Corinthians 7:2
The Apostle Paul was always getting caught in the middle of controversy and disagreements. Some were theological disputes, some were cases of immorality – plain old fashioned sin. Unfortunately, even when Paul was trying to do the right thing, it didn’t endear him to the people he was trying to help. Paul, as a believer was passionate about doing Christianity right – that passion often got people’s backs up. Yet, from Paul’s perspective, there was a genuine love for the other believers and a real desire to see them grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. As Paul is involved with the Corinthian church and the sinful behaviour of some of the members, there is a determination on his part to love all.
In the latter part of chapter 6 Paul is explaining how we as believers belong to God – his special people – and as such we belong to one another. That’s what a ‘people’ are. It takes no great leap of logic to realise the importance of loving one another within that ‘people’ community, not just because we are all first loved in Christ, but also because we are one people. That person who has sinned is part of God’s people, that person who you just don’t get, or get on with is part of God’s people. If they are God’s people, then they must be our people.
And so, on the back of this understanding, and in the thick of the conflict, Paul simply asks:
“Make room in your hearts for us”
And that is what we should all be doing. Our temptation is to close our hearts to that which challenges us, or hurts us, or that which we just don’t like. If God in his love opened his heart to us, to forgive, to redeem, to call, to make to be his people, then we should too.
Whatever that conflict, that disagreement, that dislike don’t let it control your relationships. You can disagree with someone and yet still make room in your heart for them. If you dislike another believer, then you should all the more make room in your heart for them.
In Revelation Jesus is pictured as standing outside the door of our hearts (and he’s speaking to believers here) knocking and asking for entry. Jesus is looking for room in your heart, fellowship, God with man. We should open the door, first of all to Jesus, and then in fellowship with him, make room in your hearts for all brothers and sisters in Christ. By this will all men know that we are his disciples…