Tuesday, 29 December 2015
For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. 2 Corinthians 12:6
Paul is being precise in his selected wording. He just said that “of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.” Now, to show that he could, and may even desire to, boast in something more than his infirmities, he says, “I will not be a fool.” If he were to boast in his achievements, it would be the truth and it wouldn’t be the mere ravings of a mad man. The things he would claim would seem preposterous to his hearers and yet it would be the truth. As he says, “…for I will speak the truth.”
However, he withheld such boasting with the reason being, “lest anyone should think of me above what he see me to be or hears from me.” In other words, “What marvelous things Paul boasts of! Could they be true about him? He is weak, infirm, and his speech is contemptible. The man is a living paradox!”
The things which he knew, had done, and had experienced were the things which people would naturally boast in. They would elevate him to an exalted position. But these were not the things which he wanted others to notice, and so he refrained from stating them. Instead, he will focus on something of which no one would normally boast. In this, he followed the pattern of Christ who had “no form or comeliness.” In Him there was “no beauty that we should desire Him.” He was humble and lowly and washed the feet of His disciples.
Paul, now following that same example, will give illustrations of the things he felt it was acceptable to boast in. What the world looks for as great and worthy of note is the opposite of what the Christian should be focusing on.
Life application: Doing lowly, menial tasks is not a sign of weakness, especially if you don’t have to do them. Assuming such jobs is simply a sign that you are willing to ensure that which needs to be done gets done. Never be afraid to get your hands dirty, either literally or spiritually, as needs arise.
Heavenly Father, as the world rages around us, we are often left with mixed messages. Preachers on the radio and TV tell us that God wants to bless us and that we should be living the abundant life. And yet the economy is tanking, people are arbitrarily shooting others where they work, and it is often hard to get up from bed just to face the reality of another day. This is why it is so good to have Your word hidden in our hearts. While the world crumbles and the messages of prosperity fail, Your word guides us through the troubles it said we would face. Thank You for this roadmap to peace in a difficult world. Amen.