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2 Corinthians 2:2

ESV For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?
NIV For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?
NASB For if I cause you sorrow, who then will be the one making me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?
CSB For if I cause you pain, then who will cheer me other than the one being hurt by me?
NLT For if I cause you grief, who will make me glad? Certainly not someone I have grieved.
KJV For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

What does 2 Corinthians 2:2 mean?

In the previous verse, Paul wrote that he chose not to return to Corinth as soon as he had previously planned because he did not want to have another painful visit with them. His previous visit had been uncomfortable, perhaps as the result of a challenge to his authority by one particular man. Paul knew that when he returned, unless there was a change in the man or his status in the church, he would have to confront the issue. This likely would have involved discipline of some kind.

Simply put, Paul did not want to come and exercise his authority in this way until he knew that he must. He did not want to cause pain for them—or himself. Now he reveals that one reason for not wanting to do this is that it would cause a break in his relationship with them. If he was to hurt them, even out of love for them, who would he find in Corinth to make him glad?

Paul clearly cared deeply for the Christians in Corinth. They were far more than just a problem for him to manage. They were people he loved. He had declared his love for them in the final verse of 1 Corinthians and he does so again in verse 4.
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