Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Why? Because I do not love you? God knows! 2 Corinthians 11:11
His last statement said, “As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.” In response to this, he asks the question, “Why?” He then rhetorically questions, “Because I do not love you?”
The exchange is given because those in Corinth may have felt this way. By rejecting any favors from them, at least a portion of them may have felt snubbed. But it is not necessarily true that turning down help or aid means that someone doesn’t care about the giver. They had read into his heart a condition which did not exist.
Paul had evaluated the congregations in Achaia and had seen that the best interaction concerning receiving gifts from them was to restrain from doing so. They were spiritually weak and they were doctrinally confused. They also allowed outsiders who had ill intent for them to sway them away from the truth in Christ. Paul knew that if he were to receive assistance from them, even this would have turned into an unhappy issue at some point.
He doesn’t say any of this to them, but it is evident from the content of both epistles to them. But does this mean that he didn’t love them? In response to such a question, he says, “God knows!” They may not have been able to tell, but God could. Paul had a deep passion for the churches in Achaia and he struggled to bring them to maturity in their faith. It was a sure evidence of his great love for them.
Life application: We can learn from Paul’s care of those in Corinth that it is acceptable to treat different individuals and different congregations differently. We need to evaluate the best approach to dealing with others in order to cause the least amount of conflict later down the line. However, even our best intents can be misunderstood and lead to conflicts and confusions. Life is messy; let us do our best to work through it by relying on the most excellent guidelines available. Let us know and apply the precepts in the Bible to our daily interactions with others.
Heavenly Father, at times it sure is difficult to know what the best avenue to take is. It seems that no matter what choice we make, someone is there to question our sincerity, our integrity, or our love towards those who are affected by what we decide to do. Help us to remember to daily seek Your wisdom first, through Bible study and through prayer. In so doing, Your guidance will certainly be with us as we interact with the world around us. Help us in this and be with us always. Thank You, O God. Amen.