Bible Reading Day 262

by markburlinson

Day 262: September 19 (2 Corinthians 10)

Good morning!

Paul has concluded his encouragement to give, and he has stressed that he is not coercing the Corinthians, but he is expecting more of them. This attitude led some in Corinth to say that Paul was gentle (even timid) in person, but bold and forceful when away from them (remember the strength of emotion his previous letter had caused them?). Now Paul answers that accusation by explaining again his authority in the Lord, and his heart for them.

He shows them that there is a difference between human authority and godly authority, as well as reminding them that godly authority builds up rather than tearing down.

Some in Corinth looked down on Paul’s ministry, preferring to measure by human standards, but Paul dismisses those proud critics by saying “we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are!” Their error is to compare themselves with each other, and any flea can make itself more important than another flea! By contrast Paul is operating within the boundaries of the calling God has given him, rather like an elephant has little to fear from a flea!

Comparing ourselves with others is always a trap, as I wrote in a blog post some years back. Paul’s concern is to fulfill the assignment of God, which included sending him to start the church in Corinth at great personal cost. Whether or not the Corinthians recognize this is of little significance to Paul. That explains his strong desire to go where no-one else is working, and pioneer new outbreaks of Kingdom life. That shows his apostleship regardless of the extent of human recognition. As Paul concludes: “When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.”

What does God say to you about your calling, and your assignment?

Have a great day!

Mark.

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