If I ·make you sad [cause you pain/sorrow], who will make me glad? Only you can make me glad—·particularly the person [or those] whom I made sad [C either the church generally, or a particular opponent (vv. 5–10)].
And I made up my mind that I would not pay you another painful visit. For what point is there in my depressing the very people who can give me such joy? The real purpose of my previous letter was in fact to save myself from being saddened by those whom I might reasonably expect to bring me joy. I have such confidence in you that my joy depends on all of you! I wrote to you in deep distress and out of a most unhappy heart (I don’t mind telling you I shed tears over that letter), not, believe me, to cause you pain but to show you how deep is my care for your welfare.
That’s why I decided not to make another visit that could only be painful to both of us. If by merely showing up I would put you in an embarrassingly painful position, how would you then be free to cheer and refresh me?
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