I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say or because of these surpassingly great revelations.
Thoughts for Today:As humans, we have a tendency to want others to think highly of us. So what do we do? Whenever we have the opportunity, we tell our family, friends and acquaintances all about our greatest achievements. So whether it's a victory in our latest tennis match, how far we hit a drive on the golf course, or the high grade we received on a math final -- the experiences and life stories we relate are how we would like others to evaluate us. (Most of which are cast in the most favorable light possible). But not Paul. In fact, his approach was exactly the opposite. He said, "Don't evaluate me or my ministry based on what I've been boasting about, rather judge it on what you've seen me do."
If most people had an experience similar to Paul's (taken up to the "third heaven"), they would want to share their revelations of the after-life with everyone they met. Why? Because it would make just about anyone feel "special". Not Paul. He didn't want the Corinthians to base their opinions about him on some mystical incident, but rather on how he lived with them on a day-to-day basis. Why? Because he didn't want anyone to think more of him than was warranted by what they saw him do and say.
Questions to Ponder:How do you evaluate yourself? Is your description consistent with your actions? Do you consider yourself faithful? What are some of the things you've done in the last month to demonstrate your faith? Are you generous? What specifically are you giving -- how often and to whom? Over the last week, have your thoughts, words and deeds been in harmony with what you profess to believe? What will you do today to resolve any conflicts?