Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-24
Paul’s ministry to the Corinthians had been a loving and fruitful one. He had personally been there and stayed longer than he had in most other cities. He had sacrificed much for their spiritual benefit. In spite of all he had done for them, they questioned his motives and integrity. It seems that other “spiritual leaders” had come to Corinth. Wanting to cast doubt on Paul’s credibility, they had publicly called his ministry into question and had caused many in the church to do the same.
Among the accusations that they made was the idea that Paul was wishy washy. Perhaps they couldn’t trust what he said . . . even his message of salvation through Jesus. After all, they reasoned, he had said he would come and visit the church, but he never showed. Indeed, Paul had intended to stop in Corinth after time in Ephesus. Unfortunately, his plans changed and he was unable to visit them.
This week, as we learn more about cautiously making plans and being people of our word, it is important to note this truth from Proverbs 16:9:
“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
As we have seen, all of our plans must be ultimately subject to the will of God. Similarly, we must be careful to follow through on promises made. Even so, as Paul experienced in his relationship with the Corinthian church, we may discover that our plans and the steps God has us take are, at times, different.
It has likely happened to you . . . on both sides of the equation. You have been the one whose plans have changed. Similarly, you have been the one with expectations of someone that God directed differently than anticipated. When God redirects someone else, can you accept that and demonstrate Christian love rather than wagging a finger in someone’s face saying, “You promised!”? When God redirects you, can you choose to please Him rather than people? And in an attempt to maintain your integrity, can you try to explain the change of plans to those impacted?