Bible Text: 2 Corinthians 12:14-21 (ESV)
14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
Reflection & Application
2 Corinthians 12:14-19
“In 12:14b-15a, Paul supports his affirmation that he is seeking the Corinthians’ welfare, not his own, by returning to imagery of parenthood to describe his relationship with the church. Because he is their spiritual father, Paul is responsible to give to his ‘children,’ not the other way around, even if this means pouring out his life on their behalf.” 
- Why would Apostle Paul’s successful defense of himself before the Corinthians lead to their “upbuilding”?
 Scott J. Hafemann, 2 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series CD (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000).