Monday, 16 November 2015
For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:14
Paul just noted that the sphere of influence which he and his fellow workers encompassed was one which God had appointed, and that sphere also included those at Corinth. Building on that, he says then that “we are not overextending ourselves.” He had not gone outside of his divinely appointed sphere of influence. Rather, he was perfectly within his rights to claim authority over Corinth. He had established the church and continued to instruct it and direct it.
He then gives a parenthetical thought, “…as though our authority did not extend to you.” For whatever reason, some intimated that their authority didn’t reach out and encompass Corinth. Maybe they heard another teacher who was more eloquent and thought, “This is our true leader.” Whatever prompted them to assume that they were outside of Paul’s authority, it was incorrect. To confirm this, Paul reminds them that “it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ.”
He and his associates were the first to preach the gospel to them; a message which they then received. Therefore, whoever came after them were actually intruders. It was inappropriate for someone else to come along and assume control of the congregation which was established by others. It was Paul’s right, established by God in the granting of his sphere of influence, to boast over them and to continue to direct them.
Life application: In this world people very quickly take credit for the good deeds of others, but are even quicker to put the blame for what is wrong on those same people. A very good example of this is the office of president. When a new president is elected, if he is a man lacking character, he will do just this. He will take the credit for what is sound and properly functioning, even if he had no part in it, and he will continue to blame his predecessor for every bad thing which occurs, even if it those things are completely his fault. Watch out for people like this and watch out for yourself as well. Don’t be like such losers. They are corrupt and their corruption is infectious.
Lord God, help us to be people of integrity who will give credit where credit is due and who will stand up and acknowledge our own failings without casting the blame on others. Help us to not follow the example of those who tend to do just this. Grant us the intestinal fortitude to act in a way which brings honor to You, both through our accomplishments and our failings. In this, You will certainly be pleased with us. Thank You for Your kind hand of grace upon us. Amen.