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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.


This verse shows how people may view Paul’s gospel team.

13 For if we are beside ourselves,

The word “beside” means to stand beside oneself (Mark 3:21). Some thought that Paul’s team may be mentally ill because they exposed themselves to physical danger in sharing the gospel. Their opponents thought the team was out of their minds, that were bereft of sound minds and lost their senses.

it is for God;

If their adversaries think this way, the team lived for God, nevertheless. They were willing to be thought of in this way. It was their zeal for serving God that motivated them.

or if we are of sound mind,

Some in the Corinthian church deemed that the team had sound minds, that is, they were in their right minds.

it is for you.

If some deemed that the team was stable mentally, then they would be receptive to the message. “For you” is for your cause in the Greek. It is for the advantage of the church at Corinth.


The world looks at people who have a sense of certainty with askance.


Every person in ministry has his critics. It is important to put criticism in its proper perspective. If the criticism is objective, then the person in ministry should take stock of that assessment of their ministry. If objective to ministry is based on subjective criticism, then the minister must put that kind of thinking aside and not dwell on it. It is important to develop an immunity to unfair assessments otherwise a person will be driven up the wall in trying to please people. The old saying goes something like this, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.”