not that we rule [like dictators] over your faith, but rather we work with you for [the increase of] your joy; for in your faith you stand firm [in your strong conviction that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah—is the Son of God, through whom we obtain eternal salvation].
Not that we have dominion [over you] and lord it over your faith, but [rather that we work with you as] fellow laborers [to promote] your joy, for in [your] faith (in your strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God) you stand firm.
No, I declare before God that it was to avoid hurting you that I did not come to Corinth. For though I am not responsible for your faith—your standing in God is your own affair—yet I can add to your happiness.
We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.
But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.
But I don’t want to imply that as leaders we coerce you or somehow want to rule over your faith. Instead, we are your partners who are called to increase your joy. And we know that you already stand firm because of your strong faith.
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