2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11 (NIV)
Paul’s Change of Plans
12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. 13 For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that 14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. 15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”? 18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him, it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 23 I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm. 2 1 So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? 3 I wrote as I did so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. 4 For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.
Forgiveness for the Offender
5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
What does Paul’s example mean for you in terms of how you relate to others?
Heavenly King, I worship and praise You. I want to be close to You and live in a manner that pleases You. Sometimes, I struggle in understanding what Your will is for my life. Help me to discern Your voice and not be distracted by what the world considers as wisdom. The world applies pressure to accept it’s ways. Keep my conscience clear as I ignore the world and refuse to let go of Your Instruction and guidance that I find in Your Word. Help me to persistently seek Your truth despite difficulty or discouragement from the world. You make it possible for me to stand firmly with You. You put Your Spirit in my heart to show that I belong to You. I have faith in You. There are a great number of people who oppose Your values and actively push the devil’s evil schemes. It is difficult for me to confront those people for fear that I make the situation worse by fueling the fires of anger and resentment. Give me the courage to stand up for Your truth. Help me to be quick to forgive and to love others in order for me to shut down Satan’s schemes. Don’t let me give Satan access to my heart through hatred and unforgiveness. Instead, fill me with Your mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Amen