Andy and I have been reading through Paul's letters to the church at Corinth and if you have read these you may recall that he is offensive. Even as a believer in Christ, I read what he had to say and think, 'wow, that was harsh!' And the church was offended by his exhortation, at least for at first. Somehow though, Paul spoke truth and preached what they needed, but didn't want, to hear; and while they didn't like it, they did listen. They took to heart what Paul had to say. No one likes to be told they are wrong.
What made the church at Corinth receptive to what Paul had to say? How did Paul teach Truth without pushing the believers further away?
Paul points out that what he says and what he does are judged by God and that God knows he speaks for the benefit of the Corinthians. Second Corinthians 12:19 says "All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved."
Did you hear that?
all for your upbuilding
Paul loved those he was writing to and that love was evident in his actions, making it easier to accept his exhortation!
Am I open to learning God's Truth presented in His Word and by way of other believers? Do I speak the truth in love? What is my motive in telling another believer something?