Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!2 Corinthians 6:11-13
Paul continues the theme of the segment before this related to the degree to which the Corinthians have withheld their love toward Paul and his team given the things others have been saying about them. The “super apostles” tried to build themselves up in the eyes of the Corinthians to the detriment or the downfall of Paul. It seems that the end result of the slandering and posturing of those opposed to Paul had its effect on the Corinthians feelings towards Paul and his fellow apostles. Even though Paul claimed his motives were pure and he would not even insist on his rights for their sake so there was no possible claim of Paul using the Corinthians for his own ends, there was still suspicion on their part.
Here Paul says he and the other apostles (as opposed to the super apostles) have told the truth and do love the Corinthians as brothers and sisters in the Lord. He tells them they have been totally honest with them and not held anything back. But Paul claims they have withheld their love from him and the other apostles. He wants to them to respond in love as he has been talking through the letter and regard him as their father. He regards them as his children in the Lord. They need to open their hearts to the apostles again as they did before. The result of claim and counter claim between the factions is that there have been human casualties. There are those who have been hurt and can no longer trust again. Especially when the one they don’t trust is Paul who only has their best interests at heart. This is always the end result when there is deception involved to achieve the ends that unscrupulous people are trying to achieve no matter who gets hurt.
This tension between Paul and the super apostles and the impact on the Corinthians runs throughout the two letters to the Corinthians and of course was the subject of the letters we don’t have and the visits made that were not recorded. It is always hard to address issues that are painful and need discipline. One can do it in love, sincerely wanting the person or persons to realise their mistake for their own good and make the necessary changes. But of course on the flip side it is always easy for those who are impostors or are feigning care or love to get their own way by manipulating the feelings of the people who feel grieved. That is what has been going on among between Paul and the apostles, the Corinthian believers and the false (super) apostles and this theme surfaces frequently. This is yet another example but it has been more lengthy and connected than the other times it has surfaced.
A Daily Reminder: Seek the PROSPERITY of those you lead, much quicker than you seek any personal PROFIT from leadership!Brian Houston
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.Sidney Mohede
NEVER allow yourself ANY thought of separating from Christian brothers if their opinions disagree with yours.John Wesley