QTVOTD: Those We Minister to Are the Focus…

7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 2 Corinthians 13:7-9 [ESV]

I am coming up on the final verses of 2 Corinthians. This last chapter is a testament to Paul’s character and dedication to building up his gospel converts in Corinth.

Paul is saying here that his prayer is that the Corinthians would not fail to hold the faith and a fall back into immorality; and that his reasoning is not that he would have met the test, he wants them to avoid wrongdoing, not because his own reputation would suffer, but simply because he wants them to be found doing what is right.

In verse 8 the truth is best understood here as the gospel, and what Paul asserts is that he could never act in a way that is contrary to the gospel or its implications. Then in verse 9 he says that he is prepared, even glad, to be weak if that means strength for his converts. During his ministry, Paul had discovered that very often weakness in himself was the concomitant of power at work in others, a fact which rested upon God’s decision to use the weak things of this world to achieve his purposes. The sort of strength Paul looked for in his converts was the strength of commitment to the gospel and the outworking of that commitment in moral renewal in their lives.

I see this as the pastor/shepherding model that Paul is for us. His focus is his fellow followers of Jesus Christ and his exhortation and correcting of them (even discipling) if needed.

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