Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you (II Corinthians 13:11).
When it comes to moving in new directions, the illustration of Jacob and Laban is a good one. Each had an interest in the inheritance of people and property, but both knew that separation must take place. Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee (Genesis 31:44). Then both parties placed a memorial to the event in the form of stones piled in two heaps: . . . for he said, the LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another (v.49). And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place. And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him (31:55; 32:1).
In like manner, Paul, in our text, gives a closing counsel to the Corinthians that was meant to sustain them while they were apart. He urged them to be perfect, or complete. This can be accomplished only through Scripture: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:16,17).
In the midst of a God-directed transition to a new stage of life, there is no time to come apart or lose resolve. Rather it is a time to be confident and of good comfort, for God is in the event. He will see us through the adjustment. Further, Paul insists that at times like these, we should be of one mind, not wishing to return to the old situation or begrudge the separation, but peacefully content with our next adventure. Why? Because God is in it and His love is sufficient to carry us into the next cycle of our lives. KBC