Jump Start # 3255
2 Corinthians 7:2 “Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one.”
Our verse today begins with a great expression, ‘make room for us in your hearts.’ That’s hard for some folks. As a young parent with one child it’s hard to think that you have any room to love another child. But you do. Your heart just expands and you love both of your children fully and equally.
Paul’s words were to the Corinthian brethren. What follows those words are three declarative statements. We didn’t hurt anyone. No one was wronged. No one was corrupted. No one was taken advantage of. Had that been the case, the door to the Corinthian heart would likely have been closed and locked. They would have reasons to say that we have no room to love you. You mistreated us and that’s it. That wasn’t the case. They needed to make room for Paul in their hearts.
Some lessons for us spiritually:
First, when new folks come in, it’s easy for them to always feel like the outsiders. They may not be included, invited and the impression is left that they are “not one of us.” That hurts fellowship. That can be the undoing for that new couple. After a few months, they leave looking for another place. They left never feeling like they were accepted or welcomed. Make room in your hearts for us, that’s the answer.
Second, when prodigals come home they can feel like a second class citizen. They sense that people are always watching them, just waiting for them to mess up again. No running towards them, like the father in Luke 15. No celebrations. No feasts. Just Questions and Suspicion and lots of Doubts. Make room in your hearts, that ‘s the answer. Love them. Forgive them. Open your heart to them.
Third, it takes some effort on our hearts to find the room for others. It’s like putting suitcases in the trunk of your car for a trip. Things have to be adjusted, moved around and squeezed in, but it can be done. Pride and stubbornness on our parts can close that trunk shut with the statement, “There just isn’t any room.” I have stood at subways and as the doors open and you see how packed the cars are, one thinks there is no way. But you get in there and you find a spot. Room was made.
Our dislike of someone or believing that someone is different can keep others on the outside. Not everyone will be like you. Not everyone will be like me. That’s good. Not all the apostles were the same. Not all the early Christians were the same. Business woman like Lydia, a wealthy Ethiopian, a Roman officer, Jews, Gentiles, men, women, slaves and owners—that was the makeup of those early churches. It was the potential to be a real powder keg of problems. How do you smooth all of those wrinkles out? How do people who culturally do not like each other, accept one another? Make room in your hearts, that’s the answer.
Fourth, when I find room in my heart for you, I come to like you. I learn from you. I appreciate you. I thank my God for you. You help me and I hope I help you. Together we journey. Together we fight Satan. Together we build the kingdom. Common goals. Same interests. Like minded. Making room for you becomes a blessing to me. Making room for you adds value to me. Making room for you is one of the best things I could do.
And, after a while, a person thinks, ‘How do I manage without you?’
Making room, implies making time. It involves making effort. It means to make the most of what we can.
Got any room left in your heart? Bet you do. Move things around a bit and you might just find a tiny spot for me, and I’ll do the same for you.
Make room in your heart for me…love that thought.