on 2-corinthians 12 :15
And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you - I will continue to act as a loving father, who spends all he has upon his children, and expends his own strength and life in providing for them the things necessary for their preservation and comfort.
Though the more abundantly I love you - I will even act towards you with the most affectionate tenderness, though it happen to me, as it often does to loving fathers, that their disobedient children love them less, in proportion as their love to them is increased. Does it not frequently happen that the most disobedient child in the family is that one on which the parents' tenderness is more especially placed? See the parable of the prodigal son. It is in the order of God that it should be so, else the case of every prodigal would be utterly deplorable. The shepherd feels more for the lost sheep than for the ninety-nine that have not gone astray.
If I be asked, "Should Christian parents lay up money for their children?" I:answer: It is the duty of every parent who can, to lay up what is necessary to put every child in a condition to earn its bread. If he neglect this, he undoubtedly sins against God and nature. "But should not a man lay up, besides this, a fortune for his children, if he can honestly?" I:answer: Yes, if there be no poor within his reach; no good work which he can assist; no heathen region on the earth to which he can contribute to send the Gospel of Jesus; but not otherwise. God shows, in the course of his providence, that this laying up of fortunes for children is not right; for there is scarcely ever a case where money has been saved up to make the children independent and gentlemen, in which God has not cursed the blessing. It was saved from the poor, from the ignorant, from the cause of God; and the canker of his displeasure consumed this ill-saved property.
on 2-corinthians 12 :15
And I will very gladly spend - I am willing to spend my strength, and time, and life, and all that I have, for your welfare, as a father cheerfully does for his children. Any expense which may be necessary to promote your salvation I am willing to submit to. The labor of a father for his children is cheerful and pleasant. Such is his love for them that he delights in toil for their sake, and that he may make them happy. The toil of a pastor for his flock should be cheerful. He should be willing to engage in unremitted efforts for their welfare; and if he has any right feeling he will find a pleasure in that toil He will not grudge the time demanded; he will not be grieved that it exhausts his strength, or his life, anymore than a father will who toils for his family. And as the pleasures of a father who is laboring for his children are among the purest and most pleasant which people ever enjoy, so it is with a pastor. Perhaps, on the whole, the pleasantest employment in life is that connected with the pastoral office; the happiest moments known on earth are the duties, arduous as they are, of the pastoral relation. God thus, as in the relation of a father, tempers toil and pleasure together; and accompanies most arduous labors with present and abundant reward.
Be spent - Be exhausted and worn out in my labors. So the Greek word means. Paul was willing that his powers should be entirely exhausted and his life consumed in this service.
For you - Margin, as in the Greek, for your souls. So it should have been rendered. So Tyndale renders it. The sense is, that he was willing to become wholly exhausted if by it he might secure the salvation of their souls.
Though the more abundantly I love you ... - This is designed doubtless as a gentle reproof. It refers to the fact that notwithstanding the tender attachment which he had evinced for them, they had not manifested the love in return which he had a right to expect. It is possible that there may be an allusion to the case of a fond, doting parent. It sometimes happens that a parent fixes his affections with undue degree on some one of his children; and in such cases it is not uncommon that the child evinces special ingratitude and lack of love. Such may be the allusion here - that Paul had fixed his affections on them like a fond, doting father, and that he had met with a return by no means corresponding with the fervour of his attachment; yet still he was willing, like such a father, to exhaust his time and strength for their welfare. The doctrine is, that we should be willing to labor and toil for the good of others, even when they evince great ingratitude. The proper end of laboring for their welfare is not to excite their gratitude, but to obey the will of God; and no matter whether others are grateful or not; whether they love us or not; whether we can promote our popularity with them or not, let us do them good always. It better shows the firmness of our Christian principle to endeavor to benefit others when they love us the less for all our attempts, than it does to attempt to do good on the swelling tide of popular favor.
on 2-corinthians 12 :15
12:15 I will gladly spend - All I have. And be spent - Myself.