Monday, 28 December 2015
Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 2 Corinthians 12:5
It is obvious on the surface that Paul has been speaking of himself concerning the visions of the third heaven and of Paradise. Therefore, the words of this verse are the epitome of irony. Still referring to those events as if they were someone else, he says, “Of such a one I will boast.” The reason for this is because they are divinely given honors, worthy of boasting to those who need direction in matters of a divine nature.
However, he continues with the words, “yet of myself I will not boast.” This is referring to all of the sufferings and trials he endured which are noted in the previous chapter. Those are the things which the Corinthians thought were to be boasted in, as is evidenced by their boasting in those types of things in the false apostles.
However, Paul has shown them that they are merely earthly and of no true spiritual value. Because of this, he has put the thought of boasting in those things away. They no longer have the importance to him that they once did, and such things should not be a source of boasting by others as well.
But Paul finishes by noting that there is one type of earthly trial that is worthy of boasting in. Of all of the fleshly things he could have boasted in, he only does so in his “infirmities.” Through verse 10, he will explain exactly why this is so.
Life application: Many of us have done things which the world would think of as great. Maybe we retired with a high rank from the military. Perhaps we were the CEO of a big company. Some of us may have been exceptional at some type of sport. Maybe we were on a TV show with a special talent. Oooh! Ah! But what value has any of this from a heavenly perspective? Zilch. Let us not boast in the things that have no heavenly value. Instead, let’s try learning our Bible, telling others about Christ, and helping out in the church we attend. And when we do these things through infirmity, then we have something we can truly boast in.
Lord God, no matter what great thing we achieve in this life, if it doesn’t glorify You, then it is of no lasting value. We may do something that outlasts us by a thousand years, but a thousand years in Your sight is as a passing day. In the end, it is all vanity and fading breath. Help each of us to get our priorities right and to spend our lives pursuing You. Help us to be ready for the eternal as we trudge through the temporary. To Your glory we pray. Amen.