2 Corinthians 12:19-21
2Co 12:19 You are thinking all this time that we are defending ourselves before you. We are speaking before God in Christ, and all the things that we are saying, friends, are meant to build you up.
2Co 12:20 I am afraid that I may come and somehow find you not as I want you to be, and that I may be found by you to be not what you want. I am afraid there will be quarreling, jealousy, angry feelings, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.
2Co 12:21 I am afraid that when I come my God may again humble me before you and that I may have to grieve over many who formerly lived in sin and have not repented of their impurity, sexual immorality, and promiscuity that they once practiced.
speaking before God
Given the way Paul had been treated by these Corinthians, why doesn’t he just tear up the letter and let the church die the death of the disobedient? He is afraid that even a visit will not achieve positive results — that he will find the church steeped in conflict and fallen back to their old depravities. So, why does he still speak words that are being written down for the church in Corinth? He has to. The passion with which he speaks is a passion empowered by the Holy Spirit — producing words that can build up the church. These words still reflect that passion, and they are still empowered to build up the 21st century church.
Paul understood that he was not just speaking before the Corinthians, trying to fix their problems. He was speaking words inspired by the Holy Spirit. He was speaking before God.
Holy Spirit, give us your words — from your word — to speak into our situation.