My Favorite Preacher: The Sequel (second part)


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Expensive gifts
Paul's solution to the tariff issue generates another problem in his relationship with the Corinthians; they are offended and have it for less; they believe that he lacks love and he has despised them; consequently, they pay you with the same currency. It is always considered rude to reject the gsity of another. Thus, Paul's humiliation became an offense.
It is very tasty to receive gifts and enjoy them; but you can not always receive everything, not everyone, whether you are a preacher or not. If they gave me a Lamborghini, I could not accept it; or I would gladly accept it, but I would have to run to sell it without even turning it on. It is not only the maintenance of the car, but the insurance, the clothes that should be put to handle it, the garage that would have to be had and the house in which to live so as not to make a fool of himself. It would be a gift too expensive to maintain. So are some gifts, an insert; we live to keep them.
In the Bible there are several cases of individuals who rejected the gsidad of others when they perceived that if they accepted the gifts they were committed. Abraham preferred to pay a high price for land to bury Sarah, rather than receive it as a gift from the Hittites; the prophet Elisha rejected the gifts Naaman offered him when he was healed of leprosy, despite the fact that he and the other prophets were in need (2R 2-8).
It gives the impression that these people perceived that by receiving the gsity of others they were selling their soul and their independence of thought. There are people who do favors and then collect them. The problem is that there is never a payment that satisfies them. You always owe them.
Do we make mistakes when accepting certain favors? No, because it is not always possible to know the intentions of the people. There are many cases in the Bible where people gladly accept the gsity of others. Abraham received gifts, Elisha also did; Jesus himself received donations for his ministry; Pablo too.
Paul's decision with the Corinthians was then the fruit of his discernment. His conclusion was: from these people you can not receive money, so they overdo it and thus be offended.
© 2011Milton Acosta

Author: Milton Acosta
Professor of Old Testament in the Biblical Seminary University Foundation of Colombia (www.unisbc.edu.co); Old Testament Editor for the Contemporary Biblical Commentary; M.A. Wheaton College Graduate School- Ph.D. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Old Testament).


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