Tuesday, 5 January 2016
For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong! 2 Corinthians 12:13
Paul asks the Corinthians a pointed question – “For what is it in which you were inferior to the other churches?” He had spent an immense amount of time with them. He had demonstrated the power of his apostolic ministry among them through demonstrations of the Spirit. He had treated them as his own children. In every way imaginable, he had elevated the church and its congregants above himself as he ministered to them. All of this was certain, but with one difference. He says, “…except that I myself was not burdensome to you.”
They seemed offended at the thing which was the most endearing from his standpoint. He had not been any burden at all to them in order that they would be able to grow spiritually without being weighed down in caring for him. Here he uses the same word for “burdensome” that he used in verse 11:9.
It is a rare word which gives the idea of numbness or deadness. It is connected to the torpedo fish which makes anything it touches numb. The intent is that even though he was present with the Corinthians, he asked for nothing which would numb them to his ministry. And so, in what is the highest of irony, he states, “Forgive me this wrong!” He had lavished upon them the greatest of honors, one of which was to not burden them, and yet they took this as an offense rather than as it should have been received.
Life application: Paul’s intent for the church was certainly pure and without any strings attached, and yet the people there misread his actions. It is always good to take a moment to ponder the reasons behind things before assuming ill intent. Let each of us be slow to anger or offense and quick to show gratitude towards others.
Lord God, help us to be slow in showing offense and to take time to ponder carefully the actions of others before flying off the handle and ruining a perfectly good relationship over minutiae. Instead help us to build them upon gratitude for the help and benefit we do receive. Grant that we won’t look at petty things which may actually be our misunderstanding of whatever issue has arisen. Bestow this on us so that harmony will exist between those of us who endeavor to be faithful followers of You. Amen.