I bet Paul wished he could “unsend” this letter

2 corinthians on work Jun 20, 2022

Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)

As soon as I left the Zoom meeting, I knew I had screwed up. I was arrogant and defensive in response to a well-intentioned member of my team. My plan was to get back to writing as soon as the call ended, but I couldn’t. I just stared at a blinking cursor knowing that I had to make peace with my team member before I did anything else. Today’s passage was on my mind as I did. 

It appears that Paul had sent Titus to deliver a severe letter of rebuke to the Corinthians (see 2 Corinthians 2:3-4). But the lack of response appears to have left Paul feeling troubled. So troubled that he couldn’t focus on his work because he “had no peace of mind.” I imagine Paul felt a bit like you and I do the moment after we fire off an angry email. Only Paul didn’t have the luxury of an unsend feature. In the words of one commentary, “[Paul] simply could not attend to his work, his very passion, because of the anguish he felt over his strained relationship with the Corinthian believers.” 

So what does Paul do? He leaves Troas in order to make things right. Here we see Paul heeding his own command to “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

Here’s my question for you today: Who are you not at peace with right now? A team member you sent a terse message to? A co-worker you suspect might have something against you? A spouse you spoke rashly to this morning?

We can’t always drop our work at a moment’s notice to pursue peace. After all, our relationships and our tasks matter to God. But Scripture is clear that we are called to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14). Pursue peace with those you are in conflict with today!


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