2 Corinthians 2:2
For if I make you sorry, who is he then that makes me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
I. SELF-IMPROVEMENT IS PRECEDED BY DISSATISFACTION WITH SELF. This is true of all self-improvement. We find it so in education. And other things being equal, that child will learn most rapidly who is most sorry when it cannot master its task. The same statement applies to improvement in mechanical skill and in so-called ornate accomplishments. Certainly there is desire to excel, but that implies dissatisfaction with present attainments. The principle is equally applicable in the moral and spiritual sphere. In this sphere there can be no upward progress without repentance. Search for a new master in this realm presupposes dissatisfaction with the old. There is a discontent that is praiseworthy. A passing reference to the other side of the same truth will more clearly show this principle. Arid the other side is — He rarely makes any advancement who is opinionated, self-satisfied. Men have to be roused out of their contentment.
II. THE "SORROW" OF THE PUPIL IS THE "GLADNESS" OF THE TEACHER — provided, of course, that the "sorrow" of the scholar be in connection with the teacher's special function. Failure, through waywardness to do right, always brings "sorrow" to the partially educated child. But as often as the child manifests "sorrow" at its failure, just as often is its mother made "glad." And the highest "gladness" which the Christian teacher knows comes not through him who passes an eulogium upon his sermons, but from him whom the sermons have made "sorry" on account of sin.
(J. S. Swan.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?