Paul had his share of detractors in Corinth. One of their accusations was that he was not a man of integrity, but a fickle promise-breaker (vs.17). What evidence would they offer for such? Namely that Paul had apparently promised to re-visit Corinth twice, (vs.16) but had not delivered on his word.
In response, Paul will soon tell the Corinthians exactly why he had not visited them (1:23ff), but first he feels pressed to make sure he is not misunderstood. He reminds the Corinthian Christians that his change of mind regarding travel plans shouldn’t affect their understanding of the God that sent him, weaken their confidence in the gospel message he preaches, undermine their understanding of his personal care for them, or blur their vision of the oneness they share in Jesus Christ (1:18-20). In brief, his absence hasn’t changed their relationship with God or with each other. And that bond of relationship is expressed in these wondrous words: “He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (1:22)
God, my Father in heaven, as I try to serve you in my dealings with others, I realize what I do and say reflects on people’s perceptions of you, the good news of your Son and your Son’s church. When I am wrong, correct me. When I am misunderstood, give me the right spirit and words to keep the relationships I share with others in Christ strong. For I pray this to your glory and in your Son’s name. Amen.