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Summary: Misunderstandings are often very difficult to untangle, because one misunderstanding often leads to another. This is what had happened to Paul as he was forced to make a change of plans. In Paul’s initial itinerary, he had intended to go immediately from

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THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:

C.S. Lewis in his biography tells of the suffering he endured because he kept a promise he had made to a buddy during World War I. This friend was worried about the care of his wife and small daughter if he should be killed in battle, so Lewis assured him that if that were to happen he would look after them. As the war dragged on, the man was killed. True to his word, Lewis took care of his friend’s family. Yet no matter how helpful he tried to be, the woman was ungrateful, rude, arrogant, and domineering. Through it all, Lewis kept forgiving her. He refused to let her actions become an excuse to renege on his promise. (Source Unknown).

Misunderstandings are often very difficult to untangle, because one misunderstanding often leads to another. This is what had happened to Paul as he was forced to make a change of plans. In Paul’s initial itinerary, he had intended to go immediately from Ephesus to Corinth and spend the winter. When that didn’t work out he had planned to travel to Macedonia and then back to Corinth if the Lord permitted him to do so (I Cor. 16:2 8). Much to Paul’s regret and embarrassment, he had to cancel both plan A and plan B. When we consider how difficult both transportation and communication were in that day, it is a miracle that Paul did not have more problems with his busy schedule.

With this change in plans, Paul’s opponents accused him of following fleshly wisdom (v. 12), of being careless with the will of God (v. 17), and making plans just to please himself. These false apostles hoped to discredit their chief rival (11:4,13). Paul had informed the church about his change in plans, but this did not silence the opposition. They were saying,"If Paul says or writes one thing, he really means another! His yes is no, and his no is yes" (vv. 17 18). No matter what his accusers said, Paul stood firm because he had a clear conscience. He knew that his motives were sincere; he was seeking to please the Lord and not men.

APPLICATION:

Have you ever been forced to change your plans, which others did not understand, and they made a big issue about it? When I am forced to make a choice between doing what I know the Lord wants me to do and what others are saying, I must always follow the Lord.


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