Comfort In Our Own Pain

In 2 Corinthians 1 Paul is writing the church at Corinth after having what he described as a painful visit with them that was for their benefit. He had been writing to them about a lot of things that were out of order and had even threatened in a parent kind of “don’t make me come down there” way. After his visit to them he was trying to repair and bring comfort to them. He knew the discipline was hard, but necessary, and in true fashion, the church had accused Paul of being unreliable because he changed his plans for visiting them. I’m speculating here, but this seems like a defensive argument, and this is what humans do when we feel attacked. We find fault in the person we feel is attacking us to deflect from the correction. Paul was sounding a little bit defensive in his response to them but this is a reminder that even though he was an apostle, he was still also human. After explaining his change of plans Paul writes to them about their pain in a compassionate kind of way while also relating to them with his own pain. He describes his suffering in Asia as having a near death experience so bad that he wished for death. He encouraged them that together in their pain they can bring comfort to each other. This is what stuck out to me in the reading today. When we are hurting, and especially hurting because we have been corrected, we tend to act like we are the only ones hurting. When we remember that other people are hurting too it brings us together. Paul seems to be trying to accomplish that by relating to them in their pain and sharing his. He reminds them (and us) that when we share comfort during our own pain we are able to bring comfort to each other.

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