...and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul is referring to the coming of Titus who was received warmly by the Corinthians and also carried the news of their loyalty, passion, godly sorrow and deep concern for him. It was the kind of report that brought great joy and refreshment to Paul's heart. (Proverbs 25:25: "Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.")
Paul had dealt with the problems he encountered in the Corinthian Church in his previous letter. (1 Corinthians 4:14-16: "I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.") The reason our passage today was so encouraging to Paul was because it revealed the Corinthians had not only addressed the problems, but remained favorably inclined toward him. Their concern demonstrated they wanted to have a relationship with him, even though he had chastised their behavior. This brought Paul great joy. God had answered Paul's prayers and deepest desire for the Corinthians to both respond to his reprimand and not lose fellowship with him in the process.
Questions to Ponder:How do you deal with the people God places in your life to call out unrighteous behavior? What has been your response? Do you avoid them? Have you made the adjustment God asked of you? Will you re-establish your relationship?