Saturday, 30 May 2015
And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit— 2 Corinthians 1:15
The “confidence” that Paul is referring to is his statement in verse 13 which said, “I trust you will understand, even to the end.” In other words, Paul had said something in his previous letter to them which had not come to pass and he wanted them to know that he was not just saying one thing and arbitrarily doing another thing.
As he will explain, he had originally planned that he would leave Ephesus and travel directly to Corinth. After that, he would then head to Macedonia and return to Corinth, from which he would sail back to Jerusalem. However, in 1 Corinthians 16:5, 6 he had already changed those plans to instead go through Macedonia first. The “second benefit” that he speaks of was the original plan of having two visits.
The “benefit” in Greek is literally “grace.” Paul wasn’t just speaking about a happy occasion which would result from his visit, but instead a granting of divine grace. However, he was precluded from this by a change in his plans. He will continue to discuss this issue, giving a full explanation for why he didn’t follow through with the original arrangement.
Life application: Sometimes we think we know the motives of why someone takes a particular action and we allow it to upset us, even to the point where we feel resentment and anger. And yet, there may have been completely innocent motives for the action, or there could have been unavoidable circumstances which arose and which necessitated the change. It is always good to review the whole situation carefully before letting our emotions take over and ruin the day.
Lord, it sure is easy to assume we know the motives of other’s actions and to let them spoil our mood or even our friendships. But unless we know what they were thinking, we’re leaping ahead without all the information. I know I’ve done this a jillion times and I’ve spoiled many parties over nothing. Help me to be wise and discerning as things arise in life that may not be as how I first perceive them. I know that if I can just calm down, step back, and be willing to talk things through, I will be a lot better off. Be with me in this, O God. Amen.