What does 2 Corinthians 7:8 mean?
ESV: For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.
NIV: Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it--I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while--
NASB: For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it— for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while—
CSB: For even if I grieved you with my letter, I don't regret it. And if I regretted it--since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a while--
NLT: I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while.
KJV: For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
Verse Commentary:
At some earlier date, Paul had written a severe and corrective letter to Christians in Corinth. During his last "painful" visit with them, they sided with someone among them who stood against Paul in some way. The details are not clear, but Paul considered their action as sinful and perhaps a personal betrayal of their relationship with him.

He sent Titus to Corinth to deliver this rebuke and instruction to repent. Titus had now, finally, returned and reported that the Corinthians had, in fact, repented. They mourned over their sin after reading Paul's letter to them.

Paul has two reactions to hearing about their sadness in response to his rebuke. Like a loving parent, he hates to hear that they were sad, but he also understands their sadness to be a sign of genuine repentance from wrongdoing. So, he declares both that he does not regret writing the letter, since it led to repentance, but that he did regret hurting them in this way because of his affection for them. He is glad that their sorrow lasted only for a short time and achieved its purpose.

He writes in the following verses that this is exactly how godly repentance is supposed to work: sadness for a moment followed by restoration and a renewed commitment to doing what is right.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 7:2–16 begins with Paul urging the Corinthians to make room in their hearts for him and his co-workers for the gospel. He then describes the great affliction they were under until Titus returned from a visit to Corinth. Titus' report that the Corinthians had responded to a severe rebuke from Paul with sadness and repentance brought Paul great comfort and caused him to rejoice. Titus, too, expressed affection for the Corinthians after seeing their obedience and humility. Paul concludes by declaring his complete confidence in the Corinthians, though he will discuss other difficult issues in the following chapters.
Chapter Summary:
Verse 1 concludes the previous chapter's declaration that believers, as God's holy people, must cleanse their lives of defilement. Next, Paul urges the Corinthians once more to make room in their hearts for him and his co-workers. He expresses his great comfort and joy over Titus' report that they received a letter of rebuke from him with sorrow and repentance, eager to make things right. He is glad to hear that Titus was impressed with their obedience and humble attitude. This hasn't resolved all the issues between Paul and the Corinthians, but he expresses his complete confidence in them.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians 7 begins with a single verse concluding Paul's teaching about what it means for Christians not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. He then urges the Corinthians once more to make room in their hearts for him and his fellow ministers. He expresses enormous comfort at hearing that they have received a letter of rebuke from him with an eagerness to make things right with him. Titus, too, is impressed with their obedience and humility. Paul declares that he now has complete confidence in them. Following chapters will continue to address spiritual problems within that church.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
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