One’s real purpose in life will ultimately guide one’s behavior. Paul’s purpose was defined by two disciplines, that the ministry would not be discredited, and that he would be a faithful servant of God. He allowed no experience to make him violate these. But he also subjected his own expressions – knowledge, patience, preaching, miracles through the power of God, spiritual battle – to the same disciplines (6:3-10).
This high standard did not mean he was super-human and above feeling. He said, “God who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus,” (7:6). Paul needed the comfort of God through human touch. He found God to be faithful, and so can we.