Speaking the Truth in Love

A Letter of Recommendation?

See the source imageTom Reynolds started a parts manufacturing company in Detroit. Five years later the business employed more than 500 people. But one day Tom’s own human resources department sent him the following email: “Mr. Reynolds, according to our records you have never submitted letters of recommendation, something required of everyone in the company. Please verify that you are qualified to serve in your current position as President and CEO of Reynolds Auto Inc.”

See the source imageIn the real business world no HR department would dare to offer such a preposterous insult. But my fictitious story illustrates just how the Corinthians were treating Paul. The church in Corinth was sizable, and he was the missionary who planted it. Paul not only established the Corinthian church but also gave proof of his apostleship by performing mighty miracles in the city. After he left Corinth, though, his critics began to question his authority and ability. They said that other preachers had letters of recommendation. Where were Paul’s letters? To this insult he replied, “Do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all” (2 Cor. 3:1-2).

Many of us are sometimes guilty of the very thing that offended Paul. God has stamped evidence of himself all over creation—in the spider’s web, in the bird’s nest, in the grace of a fleeing deer. And yet at times we may question whether he even exists. “Lord, could you reveal yourself in just one more way? Could you send a letter of recommendation?” God has showered his love on us in a myriad of ways – the smell of flowers, the laughter of children, the taste of good food, the beauty of sunsets, the joy of friendship, the love of family, the atoning death of Jesus. But one thing in our life goes wrong, and we wonder whether God even cares. “Lord, there’s something missing from your file.”

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