The Second letter to the Corinthians deals with the problem of reconciliation. The reconciliation of people one to another. There is an opponent of Paul's who has made a mess of things for him in the churches, charging him with false teaching and questioning his integrity. It happens when Paul is away: basically every leader's nightmare.

Paul certainly defends himself but here in chapter five his defense reaches its high point. His basic argument is this: there is no peace between us unless God makes peace first. And if God has made peace with us we are ruined for grudge-holding and bitterness.

Are you being unjustly accused or treated unfairly? Jesus has gone before you to ensure that the worst this life can do is usher in more quickly your presence with the God who loves you. The Gos who will replace your rickety "tent" of a body, marked by the evil of others, with a new body of peace, rest, and dignity.

But perhaps my favorite piece of writing in the New Testament is in the end of the chapter: for you, for me, Jesus was so identified with out suffering, so all-in for us, that he was literally made into our shame. He takes and he takes and he takes our poverty away. And that's not all, he takes on our shame so that we can be further clothed, more safe, able to stop hiding in the shadows, lions that have been set free from their cages. With borrowed courage and dignity we live for His sake (v.15).

So chapter five allows us to do what is so difficult for us: suffer to forgive, because even our suffering serves to reveal greater glory.