In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote that he had not visited them earlier, in order to spare them a severe rebuke. Indeed, his first letter took them to task for a number of failures and even sins in their midst.

“But,” he writes, “that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.”  2 Corinthians 1:24 NLT

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How easy it is for us, when we discover “the right way” to do something, to attempt to dominate those whom we are teaching, to make sure they learn exactly the way we know it must be taught. If we become too involved and overbearing, however, we run the risk of making those we teach dependent on ourselves, not strong enough on their own to face the many challenges of life.

Instead, Paul said, his intention was to work together with the believers, to help them in every way to realise the full joy of standing firm in their own robust faith.

This verse provides a wonderful vision for those of us who are parents or teachers, who have the privilege of influencing others in the Kingdom of God. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, we are there to work with them, to help them discover and grow in their own faith in God, to learn from Him how to put their faith into practice.

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