Saturday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Corinthians 10:7-18

All about Boasting

In the passage we are taking up today, we will begin where Paul end: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  This is so important to remember.  We live in a world that is predicated on hubris; we are supposed to exalt ourselves and sell ourselves.  Book stores have more books on self-help and self-esteem than any other topic.  And yet, the more we talk about self-esteem, the less people seem to have of it.  And so people speak empty boasts and take public pride in personal behaviors which actually deserve public shame and personal repentance.

In speaking of pride and boasting, Paul is referring to the false teachers or brethren who moved in to the church at Corinth upon his departure with the purpose of turning their hearts against him—a truly despicable thing to do.  They compared themselves with Paul and came away thinking that they looked pretty good; after all, they were better speakers, apparently taller and physically stronger, and were also convinced that they were full of knowledge and wisdom.  Surely Paul couldn’t be much of an apostle if these wandering preachers were bigger and better than him.

But Paul calls out the foolishness of comparing ourselves with one another; it is Christ with whom we have to do, before whom we either stand of fall.  Paul refuses to enter into some foolish “I’m a better Christian than you are” debate.  But there is something to which Paul does appeal in this passage.  He writes that whereas the “super-apostles” think so highly of themselves that they went to uproot a church the foundation of which another apostle laid, Paul and his companions are so humble as not to overextend themselves; that is, they refuse to work in another apostle’s field of labor and content themselves with preaching the gospel where it has yet to be proclaimed.  And their greatest hope was simply that after having preached at Corinth that this same church which they had planted would be a base for them to preach the gospel in lands beyond them.  But now this hope and their privilege to serve the Kingdom by being a mission base for Paul that he might win others to Christ as he had won them was in jeopardy, thanks to their inability to tell truth from falsehood, the authentic from the fraud. 

We are far beyond the apostolic age but there is still something to be said for having a field of gospel labor and working in that field without extending into that of another, be it a neighborhood or the place where you work.  Be content with where God has placed you—and serve there with humility.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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