Thursday 14 November, 2013
2 Corinthians 12:11-21
11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles. 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! 14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? 16 Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit? 19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.
Wow, what a rebuke the Corinthian church received from the apostle Paul! He did not mince his words. We can see from this passage that the Corinthians didn’t think much of the Apostle Paul in comparison to other apostles. In turn, you can readily sense the Apostle Paul’s frustration and disappointment in this early church. Paul is saddened by their lack of maturity in that he has had to fund all three visits to this church. Nor has Paul seen much evidence of turning from sinful behaviour such as gossiping, pride and sexual immorality.
The positive thing about this passage – yes there is one, is that Paul has not given up on this congregation. It would be so easy to walk away with the lack of respect, paying your own way and sinful behaviour. We see the father heart of God in Paul here. Paul states that he wants “them” not their possessions. He cares about them, otherwise why would he come back three times at his own expense. This is a healthy reminder to us all not to give up on people because God surely doesn’t! God l loves us too much to leave us the way we are, rather, he wants us to become more like Jesus.
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Dear Lord, thank you for not giving up on me, thank you for pursing me even when I seem disinterested. Help me not to give up on others but to be patient and persevere. Amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods
If I had read this passage on it’s own I would have never made that positive observation.