Stronger With A Cheering Crowd
So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 2 Corinthians 2:8
I enjoy CrossFit, which, if you’re unfamiliar, is basically weightlifting with a bunch of burpees and other random stuff thrown in. A couple of times a year, I participate in competitions where we all get together and see who can lift the most weight or do burpees the fastest. I’ve learned through these competitions, where there is usually a cheering section, that I can always lift at least 20 more pounds than I’ve ever lifted before. I’m always a little surprised by it, but I’m significantly better, stronger, and faster with others cheering me on.
I recall a similar experience while going through the disastrous consequences of my addiction. In treatment, with my career and marriage on the rocks, I was a mess. I knew that everyone at home was aware my addiction and it felt like the entire world was looking down at what a horrible person I was. I was drowning in hopelessness, and I couldn’t fix any of it. My marriage was possibly over, and I was out of a job, believing that no one would ever hire me again.
Then one day in treatment, I got word that someone had left a message. It was a physician in my community who’d heard what was going on in my life. The message was simple. Don’t quit. Don’t leave town. You’re a good physician. I think we have room for you at my clinic. It wasn’t a guarantee of a job, but it was the lifeline that I needed. Not everyone hates me. Someone still thinks I have value. There is hope. It gave me strength to know that there were still those who believed in and supported me.
In today’s passage, Paul talked about how to interact with the one who has fallen. It’s assumed in the passage that this individual had repented and returned to the church but was in danger of being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow (2 Corinthians 2:7). Paul insisted that the Corinthians reach out to affirm their love for this individual. He needs your help. Give it to him (my paraphrase).
Sometimes all it takes is a simple kind word of support to the one you see struggling. Keep it up. I love you. I’m cheering for you. Just as we all require affirmation from time to time, we will regularly run into others who need it as well. We may never know the impact of our kind words, but often, they cost us nothing, while they mean the world to the one we encourage. We’re all stronger with a cheering crowd behind us.