Vs 2 Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
Vs 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Vs 13 Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
A lot going on here between a few different individuals or groups.
Paul, Titus, and the Corinthians are each experiencing a variety of these things: Regretting, Repenting, Rejoicing, and Refreshing
Paul sent a harsh letter to the Corinthians. It was a hard word. It grieved them. Paul regretted their grief, but only briefly, because it lead to the Corinthians repentance. And repentance is “salvation without regret”.
With their repentance came Paul’s rejoicing.
And there was further rejoicing because their renewed spirit was refreshing even to the messenger and servant Titus.
Regret is a strange thing. I’ve had plenty of regrets, especially in my younger days.
Those regrets tend to be about the stupid or foolish things I did.
There are relationships or habits or actions where I regret the way I engaged them.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed my regrets shift.
I don’t regret the foolish things I did in my youth as much any more.
The older I get, the more I regret the wise things I do not do more than the foolish things that I do.
And these things that I don’t do often involve engaging other people.
What’s more it may well involve engaging conflict with other people.
I’m a chronic conflict avoider.
This is tragic. This is appeasement. This is sin.
If I feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart to say something to someone and then I do not do it, this is disobedience.
Paul “acted with boldness” toward the Corinthians.
But he had “earned the right to be heard”. They were very much in his heart and he had “wronged no one”.
Therefore whatever regret Paul had about his bold engagement was short lived.
And why was it worth the risk of bold engagement?
Because it lead to repentance.
And repentance leads to life!
There is also a grief that leads to death.
If I want to experience rejoicing and refreshing in life, I must be willing to act boldly.
There may be regret or grief, but it is short lived when I recall the comfort of the promise that God walks with me.
And if I want others to experience rejoicing and refreshing in life, I must also act boldly.
Again, there may be regret or grief, but again it is short lived when it leads to repentance.
So, if I’m going to experience regret, let it be the regret of acting boldly!
And may I experience the shared rejoicing of repentance and refreshing of spirit!
Thank you God for your boldness.
Thank you for putting bold people in my life.
Help me have courage to act.
Show me grieving people around me.
Show them to repentance.
Refresh their spirit
In Jesus name