But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow (Second Corinthians 2:1).
Paul had already confronted the Corinthians and didn’t want another episode. He was sensitive to their pain and sadness, but he would confront them again if necessary. He admitted that if he came to them it would have been sorrowful for everyone involved.
Paul didn’t want to bring sorrow but joy. He hoped that when he came back to them they’d have repented from sin and could share in the joy he possessed. He wrote to them with much anguish and affliction and tears; not the grieving kind of tears, bu tears of hope that the Corinthians would finally “get it” and live up to their God-given purpose.
Paul’s letter to them was severe, but he said what had to be said. He wanted them to experience the joy that comes only from Jesus. He wanted them to say with him: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”
Someone has written: Sometimes correction from the Word of God will really bear down on the congregation. Some people think a pastor should not do that. May I say to you, my friend, that a faithful pastor must do that. The command is: (2 Timothy 4:1, 2) I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort,with all longsuffering and teaching.
A faithful pastor shows his love by preaching the Word as is rather than “buttering up” his congregation.