Oct 18 2015 // The Problem of Shame // 2 Corinthians 1:15-2:11
The relationship between Paul and the Corinthians is strained to such degree that he worries a change in his travel itinerary might provoke further mistrust. Paul explains that his decision not to visit the Corinthians was motivated by a desire to be patient and gracious with a particular member of their congregation. It seems Paul had directed a public and stern rebuke toward someone in a previous letter and is concerned now that his presence in Corinth might further shame this person. Paul also instructs the Corinthians to comfort and affirm love for the man in repentance, "or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow." Paul knows that whatever power shame may have to restrain immoral behavior, it is truly a design of Satan to shut people off from relationship with one another.