Sunday, 26 April 2015
Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 1 Corinthians 16:5
At some point, Paul had sent a letter to the Corinthians (which is not a part of the Bible) that he would travel to Corinth from Ephesus, stay for a while, and then go to Macedonia. After his trip to Macedonia, he intended to return to Corinth for a longer stay before heading to Jerusalem.
However, due to the chaotic state of affairs in Corinth, he decided that it would be better for all involved that he instead would forego this first trip to Corinth. Otherwise, he would be compelled to personally speak to them about the issues which are contained in 1 Corinthians rather than write them. If he did, it would be a meeting of discipline rather than loving embrace. In this, he only had the best in mind for all involved, but the Corinthians viewed his actions as a snub.
He explains himself fully at several key points in 2 Corinthians concerning this matter, but 2 Corinthians 1:23 gives us a direct statement from Paul’s heart concerning his actions –
“Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.”
Life application: We have all felt snubbed at various times in our lives and we often allow these occurrences to cause rifts between ourselves and the perceived offender. But quite often, such snubs are unintentional or misunderstood. It is right, particularly among believers, to give others the benefit of the doubt and be willing to listen to the reasons for their actions and then to move on, letting go of the resentment we have harbored.
Lord, so many times I’ve felt snubbed by others over things which they have done or left undone in a matter which concerns me. At times, I’ve found that some of those occasions were actually intended to keep me from personal inconvenience and it was me who misunderstood. At other times, what happened was simply unintentional. I would ask that you help me with difficult times like this so that I handle them without making things worse. Be with me as I encounter such personal conflicts and guide my actions rightly. Amen.