Thursday, 11 June 2015
And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. 2 Corinthians 2:3
The first words, “And I wrote this very thing to you” could mean one of several things. It could be referring to his change in plans concerning his visit (1 Corinthians 16:7), it could mean the rebukes of his former epistle to expel the incestuous man, or it could even be that he is conveying the thought “I write” instead of “I wrote.” If the last is correct, it is a form of communication known as an epistolary aorist. In essence, “What I write to you now has the very object of sparing you a painful visit” (Pulpit).
Whichever is correct, or even if he intends something different than any of these options, his writing was intended to smooth things over by letter prior to a visit. If he simply came and dictated what was necessary to be done, there would only be “sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy.” In other words, “Instead of a happy gathering, there would only be sadness.” This is what Paul was hoping to avoid by a painful visit.
By following this course of action, he felt that his letter would convey his “confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.” Stated differently if he maintained his joy, then they would be joyous over that. The intent was that there would be no unhappiness with them because he would come to them in joy.
Life application: It is true that there are times when a firm hand of discipline is required and that it should be done in person. However, if the same result can be obtained through a written letter and maintain harmony and fellowship between the two parties, isn’t that a preferred option? Let us always consider how to maintain love and harmony, particularly in our relationships with other Christians.
Lord God, what a joy it is to wake up in Your presence each day. I arise, knowing You are there. I open Your word and You are there. The sun rises and I see Your hand in the perfection of its timing and the splendor of its beauty. As I go to work, You and I are in fellowship… thank You for that beautiful white cloud. And so it goes throughout the hours. Each step I take, I know that You are with me. Thank You for Your constant presence in my life. Amen.