Paul returns to the subject which he was discussing earlier in his letter*. When he was in Corinth, he refused to accept any personal gifts or payments from the new Christians there. That worried Corinth’s Christians. They could not understand why Paul would accept gifts from other Christians, but not from them.
Some people had the idea that Paul did not really care about their church. That was clearly wrong. Paul remained in Corinth for 18 months while he established that church*. That was longer than any other place except Ephesus. The reality was that he loved Corinth's church even more than the other churches*.
Corinth’s Christians thought that Paul was wrong to refuse those gifts. Paul clearly did not believe that; he insisted that he would continue to act in the same way*. Paul asked them to ‘forgive’ him, but his word for ‘forgive’ really means to show kindness. He was asking them to think kindly about him, and not to accuse him about this matter. He gladly gave everything to serve them and to help them. They should think with kindness about the actions of someone who loved them so much.
Perhaps Corinth’s Christians still thought that Paul had shown greater kindness to the other churches than to them. If so, they certainly could not say the same about God’s actions. He had worked as powerfully among them as he had at any other church*. If Paul had disappointed them, God had not. So if Paul’s actions about the gifts were wrong, Corinth’s Christians had lost nothing. They had still received the gospel, God’s message; and God’s Spirit was still working powerfully in their lives.
Next part: Paul’s return to Corinth (12:14)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
To download all our articles, including our 700+ page book in PDF format, please go to our download page.
© 2016, Keith Simons.