"WHOM THE LORD COMMENDS"
Thursday, 13 December 2018
2 Corinthians 10 : 1-18
“But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord.” - 2Cor.10:17
In Chapter 10 of 2 Corinthians, Paul defends his position before his critics in the Corinthian Church. The manner in which Paul deals with them is a model for every Christian leader who faces criticism. Paul’s reaction demonstrates Christian character and is to be emulated in a world of increasing hostility towards Christ’s true servants. Paul’s critics accused him of being weak when present, and bold only in his letters (2Cor 10:9-10) and even accused Paul of walking in the flesh (2Cor 10:2).
Dear reader, how do you deal with criticism? Paul uses his response to lay down some very pertinent principles:
Train the mind to take every thought captive to Christ
We live in the flesh but do not operate in the flesh. In 2Cor.10:3-5, Paul states how he deals with his fleshly instincts.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…
It is one thing to react to criticism in the flesh, but it needs spiritual discipline to react in the Holy Spirit. Taking the thoughts captive to Christ requires a believer to identify with the life of Christ. John chapters 9 &10 records how people treated Jesus! Many of His disciples withdrew from Him, they grumbled against Him; said He had a demon, they sought to kill Him, there was division among them because of Him. However, Jesus’ reaction was (and ours too should be) as written in 1 Peter 2:21-23:
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Whatever criticism we may face, it will never come up to the degree of criticism that Christ faced. His reaction was to trust His Father at such times without reacting – it is only by bringing our thoughts in subjection to Christ that we will be able to maintain our calm— a divinely powerful weapon capable enough to destroy the spiritual fortresses of false allegations built by the enemy!
Learn to boast only in the Lord
Let God be your boast – there is one thing that a child of God should boast - his identity in the Lord. Even when others point fingers to our physical weaknesses (our physical make or a persistent sickness or the manner of speech etc.), we should immediately take our attention to our leader – Jesus Christ. 2 Cor.10:12-13 says:
For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you.
Our key verse is quoted from Jeremiah9:24 “…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.” Boast means to praise oneself. We should find our real meaning and true worth in the fact that we know God and may celebrate His attributes. True knowledge of God resulting from an intimate relationship with Him will be demonstrated in a person’s character. Three attributes of God that He demands of people called by His name are lovingkindness (meaning: loyal love); justice; and righteousness (meaning uprightness.) [NKJV study Bible]
Quote for the Day:
"Grace puts its hand on the boasting mouth,
and shuts it once for all."-
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