I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.
Thoughts for Today:Paul had previously written a strong letter of correction to the church at Corinth. Regardless of their strong support and general obedience to his instruction, there still remained a minority faction that was sharply critical of him. They said, "Paul writes big words, but in person he's not very impressive at all. He's just a tentmaker, an ordinary man, and certainly no apostle with the right to rebuke us!"
Sometimes Paul was misunderstood because he wrote and conducted himself with the same humility and gentleness of Jesus. Our Lord didn't shout so that His voice would be heard above everyone else; and He didn't walk around with a crown on His head demanding to be worshipped. In fact, His outward appearance and position in society was just the opposite, a mere carpenter. Our Savior conducted Himself as one who was meek and lowly. And it's our position as well -- if we are truly to walk as one of His followers.
I think it's important to remember that humility and gentleness do not indicate weakness. Biblical gentleness or meekness can best be described as strength under control. I like that definition. It perfectly reflects the nature, power and persona of Jesus. And it is this same controlled strength that Paul uses as he deals with the Corinthians.
Questions to Ponder:How do you demonstrate the strength of Christ? Is it with humility and gentleness or something else? If not, how?