10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
Paul concludes the body of Second Corinthians with a statement of his purpose in writing to the church.
10 Therefore I write these things being absent,
Paul’s warning in this section serves the best interest of the church. This verse is the conclusion to Second Corinthians.
lest being present I should use sharpness [harshness],
There will be no need for Paul to be confrontational if the church responds to his correction. This would be true if the church would reciprocate positively to Second Corinthians.
according to the authority which the Lord has given me
Paul received authority to be an apostle from the Lord, not himself.
for edification and not for destruction [tearing down].
The purpose of Paul’s apostleship was to build (edification) Christians into maturity.
The word “destruction” only occurs in Second Corinthians (2 Co 10:4,8 and here). The Greeks used this word for demolishing a city or building. “Edification” is to build up. Paul’s approach was to build and strengthen the church at Corinth, not to ruin it.
God judges realities, not appearances.
The balance between rebuke and the maturing of the church is the goal of every Christian leader. A pastor who cares for his congregation will not hesitate to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort.” The mature pastor is not primarily concerned about his reputation but builds up his people into a fully developed congregation.