Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. 8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed— 9 lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present. —2 Corinthians 10:7-11.
Paul’s allegiance to Christ means that he must be hard on disobedient Christians at times, but he wants to build them up rather than tear them down. Whether by letter or in person, he will pursue this aim. [The Bible Panorama.]