We think that some of the Christians in Corinth were complaining about Paul. They thought that he was trying to control them. In fact, Paul was only giving them the advice that they needed to develop as Christians. However, it seemed to them that Paul was making new rules for them to follow. They had obeyed, but still they were unhappy.
Paulís reply was that he had always spoken to them in a plain and sincere manner*. He had not tried to hide anything from them. They knew that his love for them was genuine.
Paul was not trying to control them, but to help them. He had to advise them as he did because of his love for them.
Paul was showing love towards his friends in Corinth; he was not controlling them. However, he complained that they were controlling themselves. He had shown love for them, but they were not showing love to him. They should recognise Paulís love for them and they should receive his advice gladly.
Paul compared the situation to a fatherís advice to his children*. Sometimes a father must give advice that his children do not like. Sometimes he tells them to do something that seems uncomfortable or unpleasant. However, if he is a good father, he gives that advice because of his love for his children. Sometimes the children will obey, but they will feel unhappy. It would be much better if they obeyed with willing hearts. Then they would show love for their father, even as he has shown love to them.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.