2 Corinthians 7:8-11 NLT – I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while.  Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.  For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.  Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.
In this passage the Apostle Paul explains why he sent a strong corrective letter to the Corinthians. And why it was so harsh in its wording.
Although Paul felt sorry at first, he knew he had to speak the truth in love. This is because he wanted God’s best for the church at Corinth and for the individual people.
Sometimes we need to be told firmly and honestly. It may hurt at first, but it really is for our own good.
I have been on the giving end and the receiving end of harsh words. It pained me to be the messenger and it pained me to be the receiver. Probably equally for both!
But with God the ultimate goal is not our long term pain, it is repentance and a life dedicated to God and His Kingdom.
We all need to live in that place of surrender to God. And sometimes we need to a kick to jolt us back to where we should be living.
As I type I am reminded of two verses from Proverbs and Psalms…
“My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.”
Proverbs 3:11 NLT
“Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions.”
Psalms 94:12 NLT
Love can hurt at first sometimes, but long term it is worth it.