‘Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.’ — 2 Corinthians 13:10
As an Apostle of Christ, Paul had the authority and power to instruct and correct the churches. When they deviated from the truth, He had the power to rebuke sharply if necessary (v.3). As a follower of Christ, he identified with both the weakness of Christ and the resurrected power of Christ (v.4).
His desire was that his ‘power’ and his authority would be used to help them. They were examining him and requiring him to establish his credentials in this book of 2 Corinthians. Now he challenges them to examine themselves to see if they are saved and living out their own salvation (v.5-7).
His great desire was that they would be strengthened by his ministry and that they would mature (‘perfection’) (v.8-9). And He wanted to use his apostolic authority for their growth and edification, not for their destruction (v.10).
We should have the same desire. We may not be apostles with apostolic authority, but we are given spiritual gifts and other opportunities to lead and teach. Our goal should always be the growth and building up of others, never their destruction. Even when we have to confront sin or rebuke, it should always be done in love for the goal of growth.
What power has God given you? What authority do you have? What opportunities to lead and teach are in your life? Are you using them for the good and growth of others? Are you abusing your position or using it to be a blessing and help to others?