2 Corinthians 11:7-15
7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
What I really love about this passage of scripture is the way that Paul demonstrates how he is a genuine superior to the ‘super apostles’ that are mentioned in the chapter.
Instead of presenting a theological argument or engaging in intellectual debate, or even demonstrating his superior credentials as an incredible disciple of Christ, Paul simply demonstrates that he had gone to significant lengths to ensure that he had not been a burden to the community of Corinth.
Ultimately, he was pointing to the things that demonstrated that he had clear motives – his time spent with them and his financial independence from them.
This makes me reflect on my own life and the motives that drive me to act the way that I do. I have realised that I’m often acting without any real awareness of what my true motives are! The more I think about my motives and bring them into line with what Christ calls me to focus on, the more that I am able to achieve in his name.
Lord, help me to be aware of what is driving me and help me to be motivated by your ways and empowered by your Holy Spirit.
Written by Justin Ware