“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Be restored, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
You have heard of “beatitudes?” These are attitudes or characteristics of “being” that the Bible prescribes for approaching life. The first dozen verses of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, for example, are considered beatitudes. They suggest this is the way to be.
In the verse above we have what might be described as “bereals.” These are life situations believers face in which we need to “be real.” These are attitudes, to be sure, but they are much more than that; they are behaviors. These are action situations which ought to be fully real for us, or fully realized in how we actually live our lives.
Paul says, “Be restored.” There were relational difficulties at Corinth, some of the outright broken relationships. Paul wants them to restore those relationships.
He says, “Be encouraged.” There was more than enough discouragement in the Corinthian church, so Paul wants to see that neutralized and reversed by proactive encouragement.
Paul writes, “Be of the same mind.” “Factions” seem to have been the rule of the day at the church in Corinth. The church was greatly divided. Paul called for unity, wanting them to be of the same mind in real terms.
Paul says, “Be at peace.” Again, not much peace in Corinth, but there could be because of God’s love and peace. That peace would come only when the believers in Corinth came together to lay aside differences and move into a real peace, the kind that is God-based.
Lord, Help us today to adopt these “bereals” for how we live, to be restored when relationships are broken, to be encouraged when so much discouragement exists around us, to be of the same mind with fellow believers, and to be at peace fully with You and with fellow believers around us. Amen.