2 Corinthians 10
Paul addresses some of the conflict that he has with the Corinthian Christians in this chapter. Or at least some of the Corinthian Christians. It seems some of them have a problem with the fact that when Paul is with them, he appears to be gentle and meek with them. But when he writes his letters to them, he speaks boldly and with confidence. Paul is telling them in verse 2 that he doesn’t want to have to speak to them so boldly face to face but that if that is what they want he will. Verses 3-6 are some of my favorite verses in the Bible.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
We all walk in the flesh, we are flesh and blood human beings. Paul is talking to them in ways they can understand when he tells them this. Our “war” however, when we become Christians becomes more inward, in our minds, than it is outward. The outward sins that we commit may be a problem, but they are a result of what is going on in our minds. However, once we have Christ and are walking with Christ, we then have the power to destroy the strongholds going on in our minds. How? By staying in the word, by reading the word. By spending time in prayer and asking the Lord to guide us daily while we are walking in the flesh, by tapping into God’s peace and by reminding ourselves of God’s truths.
I know that if I do not spend time in prayer and have my time with Jesus daily, the battlefield that starts in my mind can be overwhelming. The thoughts that start creeping in, can overtake my worries, and my attitude. I will start perceiving everyone as against me. I start thinking, nobody likes me and I am just a nobody. Well truthfully, nobody does like me when I get to the bottom of that pit but when I take captive all of those thoughts I realize how could they, because truthfully, I don’t even like myself. These verses remind me that I need to stay in the word and I need to take captive all of those negative thoughts, feelings and emotions, compare them to the knowledge of God and who I am in Christ and walk according to who I am and not necessarily according to how I feel!
“Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s so also are we.” (2 Corinthians 10:7)
The commentary that I read, stated that Paul was probably a small man in stature and was not necessarily a very good looking man. The Corinthians may have felt that his physical smallness, contributed to his meekness and gentleness when they did see him face to face. Maybe, and these are my thoughts, they were shocked when they saw him face to face the first time. You know how you talk with someone on the phone that you have never seen before, but in your mind you formulate a picture of how you think they will look. Well possibly Paul’s boldness in his letters caused them to formulate a picture of a strong, tall possibly good looking man and when they saw him, he was nothing like what they had pictured. Paul is telling them not to look at outward appearances. But to remember that though just as you are confident you are in Christ, remember, so are we. He is talking about himself and the others who ministered with him.
In the rest of this chapter Paul is reminding them that although he is boasting in his letters and that his letters may be strong in their language, that his boasting and his letters are only meant to build them up and they are not meant to destroy them as people. Paul, is basically telling them that he will not be ashamed of how he speaks to them, whether in person or by letter. That they may be perceiving it as different but what he says is always the same. Paul has one goal in mind and that is to win others to Christ. Paul does not do what he does to win people to himself or to build himself up.
“‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
Paul’s boasting is always in the Lord and not in himself.
Lord, help us to only boast in You! Oh Lord, sometimes it’s hard to take captive our thoughts and not to worry about what others think or say about us. But Lord, please help us to do just that. Help us Lord to remember that we can do that so much easier when we are spending our time with You.
Please pray for your pastors and your churches. And also today, please pray for the people in Louisiana and East Texas who are in the path of the storm.