2 Corinthians 10-13
We are going through our final chapters in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians! Thank you for sticking with me through this last week and listening to my ramblings
As Paul is finishing up his letters, he seems to talk a lot about boasting. Boasting can be defined as possessing something as a source of pride. Paul is possessing the knowledge of the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and what that means for his sinful life. He takes pride in the fact that he belongs to Christ, and he wants others to be proud of that too (10:2). He doesn’t want people to be proud of themselves or their own accomplishments, but only be proud of the Lord and being part of a group of believers (10:17).
In chapter 11 Paul talks about those who do boast about themselves and discusses how at the very most we should only be willing to boast about our weakness (11:30). In order to be in a position that you are not only willing to share a weakness but are seeking to openly and proudly share a weakness, you must be truly dedicated and excited to be part of that movement. Paul understood the impact that sharing his weakness, or his testimony, would have on believers because he got to experience first-hand the grace of God.
Paul didn’t always want to deal with the things that created his testimony, he calls them a thorn used to torment him (12:7). He asked for the things that were difficult for him to be taken away, and Jesus told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (12:9). Paul did not innately know that the things that were difficult, that were shaping his testimony, were going to be used for God’s glory. But when he learned that his weakness would only more greatly reflect grace, he did not shy away and try to hide or change his weaknesses to present himself as higher than he was to the church. All too often Christians can feel this pressure to hide the parts of their life that weren’t “pretty” in the eyes of other believers. But most times, what we have gone through and come out of because of the grace of God is one of the most powerful tools in bringing people to Christ and encouraging believers. We should be boasting in our weaknesses, in what God has brought us out of, with the purpose of growing and strengthening the Church.
Paul closes his letter by saying this: “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (13:11). Part of becoming mature can include developing and sharing your testimony. Being encouraged can happen when you share and hear about testimonies from other believers. We are all of the same mind when we focus on growing and strengthening the Church. And being at peace comes from knowing that each believer has that same focus. When we are able to do all of these things, God will be with us and give us His strength to complete tasks we never thought possible.
We make up the Church, and we are responsible for continuing to grow the Church and keep one another strong in the faith. Paul’s letters are a great place to start when looking for ways to be part of the Church, but there is absolutely a level of personal communication with God that is necessary to know where He wants you to be. I encourage you to take time today to reflect on your own testimony and to ask God who He wants you to share this testimony with. You may be surprised where He leads you!
Thank you all for joining me through the Corinthians! This week has been a great time for me to refocus on the mission, and I hope it was for you all as well. Until next time, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
-Sarah Blanchard Johnson
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – 2 Corinthians 10-13
Tomorrow we begin a new week reading Acts 20:1-3 and Romans 1-3.