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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 they were bereft of sound minds and had lost their senses.

it is for God;

If their adversaries thought this way, the team nevertheless would live for God. 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, that 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” means for your cause in the Greek. It was for the advantage of the church at Corinth.


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


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 objection 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 all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”