You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3: 2 – 3
When is the last time you received a hand-written letter? It’s become a dying art, hasn’t it? How sad that this generation won’t have those cherished love letters from the past bound with string and tucked away, or those sweet letters from relatives and friends filled with love and news of their lives – to be read and reread many times in the future!
How our world has changed! Letter writing was the most important means of correspondence in Paul’s day, and the book of 2 Corinthians is believed to be the second one he wrote to the church of Corinth. Because letters were so important, it was not unusual that Paul used this metaphor when he referred to these early believers.
In this one, he said that they themselves were an open “letter” of the transforming power of Christ and an example of what the Holy Spirit could do in their lives for all to see. More than just writing letters on stone (reference to the 10 commandments given to Moses), God had written His laws and truths on their hearts. They were living, breathing examples of His love and grace.
This verse reminds us that we, too, are a living Bible for all to see. Our actions tell the story of our lives and the presence of His Spirit within us. We, too, are an open “letter” for all to see. We are showing the love of Christ to those around us by the things we say, do, and think. What an awesome privilege and responsibility we have to represent Him and His Gospel of love to others with truth and sincerity.
We’ve all heard similar stories such as the one of the woman traveling down the road with bumper stickers on her car with the sayings, “Love God!”, “Love your neighbor”, and “Jesus saves!” When another driver cut in front of her, only missing her by a few inches, she veered off the road. The other driver stopped to see if she needed help, and when he came up to her car, she started beating the steering wheel with her fists, ranting and raving, and cursing him. Obviously, she wanted everyone to think that she had the gentle, caring, and loving attitude of Christ, when in fact, she didn’t.
Aren’t we all like this at times? The tone of our voice, the words and actions we choose just don’t match up with His message of grace. Until the world sees that we truly love God first, and that we love them unconditionally, they won’t care what words of truth we speak or share with them through bumper stickers or any other means. Our words mean nothing unless they are backed up by the transforming grace of the Spirit of our living God – and they see Him in us.
Dear God, how grateful we are that we can call ourselves yours. May we realize the influence our lives can have on others and always be true examples of your love and grace to the world around us. Amen