12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.
The “therefore” here shows Paul’s letter’s effect on his purpose in writing the letter.
although I wrote to you,
Paul gives his rationale for writing the letter that caused the Corinthian church grief.
I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong,
The person that did Paul wrong was the one who opposed the apostle and questioned his authority. He was not a vengeful person who sought retaliation for that person’s wrong.
nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong,
“Him who suffered wrong” is the apostle Paul himself. The well-being of the church centered on accepting Paul’s apostolic authority.
but that our care for you in the sight of God [before God] might appear to you.
Paul was concerned that his critics and false teachers were undermining his authority as an apostle, who gave them the truth. Division by these critics was unhealthy for the church. His primary concern was for the spiritual benefit of the church. Everything the team did, they did “before God;” it was proof that what they did, they did with good intentions.
The utmost concern of Christian leaders is the restoration of the church’s fellowship.
Paul applauded the Corinthian church for genuine repentance. In difficult situations in the church, it is essential to keep in mind the church’s benefit. The primary concern should not be in the discipline but the restoration of the church.