Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 23, 2020

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 12:19-21.

“All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you.  Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ;  and all for your upbuilding, beloved.  For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish;  that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;  I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.”  2 Corinthians 12:19-21.


It does appear that Paul was defending his apostleship to the Corinthians in the last two chapters, but the length, twists, sarcasm, and other strangeness of it begged the question that Paul answers in today’s Scripture.

What was Paul trying to accomplish?

Paul was trying to be gentle in restoring the Corinthians.

Think of how common it is for us to stumble and “beat around the bush” when we have some difficult criticism to say to a loved one!   

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;  each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”   Galatians 6:1.

“What do you desire?  Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?”  1 Corinthians 4:21.

“For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.  But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.”  1 Thessalonians 2:5-7.

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:1-3.

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.  The Lord is near.”  Philippians 4:5.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone;  just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:12-14.

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”  Romans 14:19.


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