I Corinthians chapter seven makes a statement regarding how we affect others by our attitude toward sin. Paul was made to be comforted in his inner being at the news of the Corinthian's repentance and willingness to work out other troubling issues (2 Corinthians 7:6-7). Paul knew that the Corinthians could have done otherwise at the hearing of the straightforward charges he made against them in his first epistle to them. The Corinthians could have hardened their heart against Paul and the gospel of Jesus Christ; however, they were made sorry "after a godly sort," and repented of their sins (1 Corinthians 7:9). Not only was Paul comforted in the Corinthian's repentance but Titus was as well (see 2 Corinthians 7:15). Truly, our disposition toward sin in our lives affects others.
When the Apostle John wrote to the "elect lady and her children," he "rejoiced greatly that I have found certain of thy children walking in truth even as we received commandment from the Fathed' (2 John 1, 4). Again, at 3 John 4, the Apostle John said, "Greater joy have I none than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." When Christians really "love th brotherhood" (1 Peter 2:17) with an "unfeigned love" (1 Peter 1:22), we will be affected by one's attitude toward truth.
The erring may cause loving brethren great pain, anguish, and anxiety (2 Corinthians 11:28) whereas the faithful give way to joy (see passages above).
Paul was excited to know that the Corinthians had a heart of gold. Paul had aggressively exposed their error in his first epistle to them. Paul explains that he was testing them "that I might know the proof of you, whether ye are obedient in all thingS' (2 Corinthians 2:9). So, for the most part, the brethren in Corinth were willing to correct their wrongs with "fear and tremblin$' (2 Corinthians 7:15). Such are the people that the Lord seeks to serve him. Isaiah records, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite" (Isaiah 57:15). Again, David said, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51:17).
When we obey God's commands of love and self repentance, the way to heaven is seen clearly. As we obey from the heart the command to love others, our joy is made complete when we see the object of our love exercising a humble, contrite, and repenting spirit. This is what the Corinthians had and this is what you and I must have if we want to be with the Lord for ever. A heart of Gold!
John C. Robertson