It was extremely difficult for Paul to write his first letter to Corinth, the Book of 1 Corinthians*. The church there was in serious difficulties, and Paul had to be strict with them.
When the letter arrived, one of the church leaders would have read it aloud at a meeting of all the members. Paul realised that his letter would give them a shock. They thought that their church was doing well; they only expected Paul to encourage them. They did not expect that he would write to them in such a serious manner.
Paul loved the Christians in Corinth very much. He compared his attitude towards them to a fatherís love for his children*. For that reason, he regretted that he had to send such a letter. He really did not want to upset them. However, it was his duty always to deal truthfully with them*. He had to tell them the message that God had given him for them.
So Paul sent that letter, and it did upset the Christians in Corinth. However, Paul did not in the end regret it, because he heard about the results of his letter. It was only for a very short time that the letter upset them. Even that was not without purpose, because it caused them to turn back to God. That result made Paul joyful. Of course he did not want to upset them - but he was very pleased that they had turned back to God.
So Paulís letter did not cause trouble for the church in Corinth - or rather, it only did that for a moment. The end result was that they gained from the letter. God used that letter to deal with their troubles and to improve their relationship with him.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.