“And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.” (II Corinthians 8:13)
We should not miss this little sentence, describing what happened to the spirit of Titus when he spent time with the church at Corinth. Although we do not know all the details of it, Titus had had opportunity to go to Corinth during Paul’s missionary journey. Paul subsequently wrote in :14 that what he had told Titus about the Corinthians had proved to be right (in a good way; he said his “boasting” proved to be true), and :15 relates that Titus ended up with a great “affection” towards the Corinthian church. But perhaps most poignant of all is this statement Paul made that Titus’ “spirit has been refreshed by you all.”
It ought to make us ponder a couple of questions:
— First: what was it about the Corinthian church that was so refreshing to Titus? Although it is not spelled out entirely in this chapter, there are some hints. Verse 15 speaks of their “obedience”, and their submissive response to his arrival and spiritual leadership. Whenever a spiritual leader sees people who respond to the word of God with personal application and obedience, it is encouraging to him. It evidently was to Titus.
— And second, we should make it personal: when a pastor or minister — or anyone for that matter — comes to my church, do they depart saying that their spirits were “refreshed” like Titus’ was? Or even more personally, when folks have been in your presence individually, are you “refreshing” to them? Do you respond to the spiritual leadership of your pastor, staff, and ministry leaders, or do they feel like they are having to drag you along? Is your obedience and participation “refreshing” to them — or would “draining” be a better description of your relationship with them? You may not be able to control the spirit and practice of your whole church, but the one person you can do something about is YOURSELF! Would you make it your prayer, and your practice, to be the kind of person that spiritual leaders would come away from saying, “My spirit was refreshed by them!”