Monday, 21 September 2015
Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 2 Corinthians 7:13
In the previous verse, Paul said that the intent of his first letter to the Corinthians was so that “care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.” He had intended to demonstrate his care for them in order to give them soundness and comfort in their congregation. When Titus arrived, his words told them that the letter had its intended effect. Because of this, Paul was in turn comforted in the comfort they received.
Until hearing from Titus, he was certainly anxious about how the letter was received. The good news was that instead of a great battle of words beginning between the two parties, there was comfort. Further, Titus was so overjoyed at how things turned out that Paul says, “…we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus.”
The reason for this is that “his spirit has been refreshed by you all.” The word for “has been refreshed” is in the perfect tense in the Greek. Thus some older translations miss the fullness of the effect it had on him when they translate it “was refreshed.” Titus wasn’t just comforted at the time of his visit, but he remained so even until his coming to Paul. There was a continuance in his state which then was transferred to Paul and his associates.
Paul and everyone with him were overjoyed because things had worked out in a positive light. His words to them now are given to show that he was convinced that there was peace on all sides and that no harm had come to their relationship.
Life application: Written letters and emails can often be misinterpreted because emotions do not carry through these mediums. When there is any chance of such misperceptions, either extra wording or even a follow-up telephone call may be needed to ensure that things are taken in the proper light. Words can truly hurt, so be attentive to sentence structure and the specific words that you use in your communications.
Lord God, how many times have things that I have written to others been taken in the wrong way! Emotions don’t always transfer in letters. And so help me to be careful with how I word things, adding in whatever is necessary to ensure that what I say is received in the way I had intended. And should this not happen, give me wisdom in how I deal with someone who misinterprets my words so that even greater offense doesn’t arise. My heart and goal is to always exalt You, even in the letters I write. So be with me in this Lord. Amen.