Summary: Apparently the false teachers in Corinth were suggesting that Paul’s unwillingness to accept support from the church was simply a coverup. They thought that he really had a love for money, and the offering he claimed to be taking for the suffering saints
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
H. L. Gee somewhere tells of a tramp who came begging to a good woman’s door. She went to get something to give him and found that she had no change in the house. She went to him and said, “I have not a penny of small change. I need a loaf of bread. Here is a pound note. Go and buy the loaf and bring me back the change and I will give you something.” The man executed the commission and returned and she gave him a small coin. He took it with tears in his eyes. “It’s not the money,” he said, “it’s the way you trusted me. No one ever trusted me like that before, and I can’t thank you enough.” It is easy to say that the woman took a risk that only a soft-hearted fool would take, but she had given that man more than money. She had given him something of herself by giving her trust. (Source Unknown).
Apparently the false teachers in Corinth were suggesting that Paul’s unwillingness to accept support from the church was simply a coverup. They thought that he really had a love for money, and the offering he claimed to be taking for the suffering saints in Jerusalem was only going to be used to fill his own pockets. Also his reason for sending Titus ahead was to insure financial gain for himself. With this in mind, Paul wanted to set the record straight. In fact he found it very disappointing that they charged him and his associates with underhanded self gratification. He attempts to prove that his motive is right for the sake of the gospel and not to satisfy his own ego, in the following two ways:
1. His previous behavior (vv. 13-16) When he had visited them before he had refused to be a burden to them and had supported himself with his own hands and through the love gifts from other churches. He had never begged for himself, only for others.
2. The behavior of his associates (vv. 17-18). None of his associates that came to help them tried to exploit or take advantage of them. Titus simply walked in Paul’s steps and was motivated by love for them and not personal gain.
When I am falsely accused, I should not think only about saving my own reputation but I should be more concerned about what people will think about Christ.