8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
In verses 8-10 there are nine pairs of paradoxes. People responded to Paul’s team in opposite ways. The first three deal with the physical, the second three set forth the mental, and the third three are spiritual things. There are nine antitheses in this section. One side of the antithesis is an evaluation of Paul’s team and the other side is the reality of their situation.
8 by honor and dishonor [disgrace],
The team experienced both reception to and rejection of their ministry. Their reputations had extreme swings. Some people would approve their ministry, but others would disapprove. Nevertheless, the team never compromised the integrity of their message.
by evil report and good report;
Reports about their ministry included the extremes of both bad and good reports. Some spoke well of them, but others gave them poor reports.
as deceivers, and yet true [genuine];
Some people viewed the team as genuine ministers of the gospel and others regarded them as fakers.
Spiritual equilibrium is important to a healthy ministry.
Those in ministry cannot concern themselves with their subjective critics. It is also important to not pay attention to any fame that may come their way. Whether we receive abuse in ministry or acceptance, we keep an even keel; otherwise, the minister will live a rollercoaster life. There are many swings in ministry. Every ministry will receive both praise and misrepresentations.