2 Corinthians 13

This devotional is written by Rachel Couffignals.

2 Corinthians 13

Final warnings
This will be my third visit to you. 'Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 2 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: on my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, 3 since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong - not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. 10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority - the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

Final greetings
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God's people here send their greetings.

14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


Just as a parent warns a child (multiple times) when doing something 'naughty', so does Paul to the people of Corinth. This is his third warning to them to change their behaviour, otherwise when he visits them next 'he will not spare them'. This may have meant confronting them, outing them to the church leaders, maybe even excommunicating them from the church. If Paul had kids I couldn't have seen him being a fan of attachment parenting...

Paul urges the people to look inside and examine their spiritual lives. How often do we examine our physical selves? GP appointments, vaccines, dental check-ups, etc... We may have changed our diet, taken up exercise, used a sleep alarm to remind us to get our eight hours. We know that these things affect our health. Same goes with our mental health. We mediate, do mindfulness activities, work from home more often to find a better balance and maybe use medication. So how do we keep our spiritual self in check? Picking up a Bible and using your spiritual gifts more regularly, ensuring you are accountable to another Christian, asking for a mentor, getting involved with the church community, ensuring you are 'growing' in some way and giving God your time (to name a few).

'Draw near to God and He will draw near to you', a rightful classic. Whenever we invest our time in something we become more in-tune with that 'thing'. We become more knowledgeable about 'it' and ultimately draw closer to 'it'. So what happens if after a period of time we stop drawing closer to God? Do we just plateau and remain in this space? Nope. We drift. It ends up being a retreat from Him.

Paul knows that for the Corinthians to change it will take more than a plaster. They can't ignore their wrongdoings or deny them any longer. Real change comes from looking inward and really evaluating what's going on. How true is this message for today, and how wonderful are many of the changes happening within the Church - even if it has been difficult for some to do an honest spiritual check-up. It's forced people to look within and correct themselves.

So despite the wrath of Paul he is clearly a guy who loves the Corinthian church and as a parents who corrects their child to learn right from wrong so does Paul, through his letters to the church, continue to build relationships by honest communication whilst reminding them that he loves them - perhaps he was a fan of attachment parenting after all.

No Comments