“Look! I am ready to come to you this third time. I will not burden you, for I am not seeking what is yours, but you.” (2 Corinthians 12:14)
The introduction of other apostles to the church in Corinth eventually led to some issues between them and Paul. Paul referred to them facetiously as “super-apostles.” Who exactly they were we cannot be certain, but since there were known factions of the Peter-group, the Apollos-group, the Paul-group, and the Christ-group, we might surmise that Peter and Apollos were among them, but perhaps there were others as well. Whoever these “super-apostles” were, they apparently drew on the resources of the Corinthian church, but Paul made it very clear and pointed that he was not at all interested in their resources for personal benefit. He pointed out to them that when he was in their midst he never asked for or took or received material benefit from them, nor did he want to or intend to. He wanted this church to know that he was not interested in what was theirs, but rather just in them. He saw themselves in a fatherly and pastoral role. He was interested only in what would build them up, even if that meant discipline. His burden was not to be a burden but to help them lay down their burdens, at the feet of Jesus.
Paul’s attitude toward the Corinthians is reflective of the attitude God has toward us. He is our Heavenly Father. He cares deeply for us. He is not seeking the paraphernalia that surrounds us, but rather He is simply seeking us. He is interested in what will build us up, in that which will draw us toward Him so that we might know the fullness of His Spirit and His glory, because He knows that is what is best for us.
This is the Lord we need to follow.
Lord, You lead us like a Great Shepherd. Help us to follow. Amen.