2 Corinthians 1 v 12 - 14

At this point it is a good idea to remind ourselves again that Paul is replying to a letter from the church at Corinth and it appears to be a fairly accusatory letter and in these couple of verses we can recognise Paul's defensiveness as he seeks to fight these accusations:

1. It seems that people are saying that there was more in Paul's conduct than meets the eye: he may appear to be this sort of person, but really he was hiding all sorts of bad character-very harsh and slanderous. His answer is to state that he has lived with the holiness and purity of God.

2. Some were accusing him of having personal and hidden motives. He replies by stating that his whole conduct is dominated by the grace of God and not calculating with hidden agendas. As Paul claims elsewhere: his old self has died and Christ lived in him.

3. There was also accusations about his letters, that he didn't quite mean what he said. Words can be used to conceal our innermost thoughts, as well as reveal them. Often many of us use words to prove ourselves compliant with the spirit of the times, the zeitgeist. The apostle James wrote about the dangers of the tongue, or of men and women's use of it, in his letter. The tongue can cover up a world of evil, malice and slander. Peoples lives are destroyed by the words of others!

To conclude: Paul asserts that in his life there are no hidden actions, motives or meanings. What you saw and heard with Paul was what he was! That is indeed something for us all to aim for.

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