There are moments when a strong, convicting message is needed within the faith community. The genesis of what brings it about is often steeped in offensive behavior, or crude conduct. And while there will always be some level of emotion involved in such difficult conversations, the primary intent of these discussions should be spiritually-inspired, and spiritually-infused. Paul was no stranger to the necessity of such rebukes, and provided a rather interesting one in 2 Corinthians 11.
Apparently some in the Corinthian church thought Paul was inferior to other apostles. So Paul firmly, yet lovingly, reminded the fellowship that his mission was to lead people to Christ, not amass a praise following for himself. He was a missionary who sacrificed much for serving the gospel message, including the health of his body, as well as the burden of personally financing much of his missionary work. But Paul counted it as worthy of the call to tell the world about Jesus’ sacrifice. Therefore, the apostle continued on, but not without letting his fellow believers know that pride, vanity, and puffed-up spirituality have no place in ministry.
Humility should be evident in our labor. We should not draw upon a comparative approach, especially amongst other Christians. We all have our place. We all have a role. We all have God’s great responsibility before us: to make the legacy, and salvation, Jesus known. So let’s do it, joyfully and gratefully.
2 Corinthians 11:5-7 “I do not think I am in the least inferior to those ‘super-apostles.’ I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you for free of charge?” (NIV)
Kevin Orr (12/1/2018)