Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:11-21
Paul is ready to return and face the folks at Corinth. But will they be ready for him? He represented spiritual authority, but would they accept his God-given authority?
Paul, you see, was their spiritual father. He had led them to Christ and had founded the church of Corinth. He didn’t want to burden them, he wanted to bless them. He wasn’t seeking to take from them, but to give to them.
Paul says, “The more I love you, the less I am loved in return.” It sounds like a complaint, doesn’t it? But the Spirit of God insisted that he not tell about what he had seen in heaven but that he tell about his sufferings and disappointments down here.
Sadly, the entitlement mindset is still alive and well in the church today. The attitude is, “What have you done for me lately?” We get spoiled, and accustomed to others doing for us and we take them for granted saying, “That’s your job!” instead of truly appreciating them.
Paul then says the states the things he doesn’t want to fin in the church: debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings and swellings.
I have often wondered what Paul meant by swellings. Probably the best explanation is the one I heard Dr. H. A. Ironside give. He said this reminded him of “a frog sitting on the bank of a creek or a pond all swelled up. He looks twice as big as he would ordinarily be. Then what happens? You throw a rock at him and, believe me, he becomes little again and goes right down into the water. Probably the best word that we have to describe “swellings” would be our word pompous. There are some pompous Christians, and sometimes they are the very ones who so clearly recognize it in others. For this reason I take pause and consider myself soberly and in humility, lest I be one of them.”
The picture is this, Paul is returning to a church he loves and has done so much for and he longs for that church to be living right. How much more is God’s desire for us His church, to be living right. How more should we be living in a way that we wouldn’t be embarrassed if He returned at any moment.