First, one must know what the conflict is all about. What happened between the Corinthian church and Paul is that Paul said he would do something and was delayed, nearly at the expense of his life. The church did not know what was happening to Paul except that false shepherds had gotten to the flock and stirred up trouble. They were bad farmers, planting seeds of doubt that resulted in confusion and unhealthy attitudes about Paul. The church had become convinced that Paul was self-serving, untrustworthy, inconsistent, unbalanced, untrained, unsophisticated, incompetent--and the church fell for the deception.
When conflict arises, beware of the contribution of outside influences. Many folks like to meddle in affairs that are not their own. They may have good intentions, but their involvement can be disastrous. If conflict arises, keep it between you and the other party and leave others out. It’s hard work, but the truth must be protected.
Stay tuned as we think about how Paul stood in truth and tears, defending his ministry against misunderstanding.