I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.
Thoughts for Today:Proverbs 27:2 instructs us: "Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips." As we have been discussing, it seems clear that Paul's authority as an Apostle of God had been challenged and therefore needed to be defended. Although Paul did not have enough people step forward to support him, he knew that true greatness and authority comes only from the Lord. In other words, it really didn't matter if Paul made a "fool" of himself by self-promotion, or even if he had the support of the majority of the congregation - none of it mattered if the Lord wasn't in it.
The same is true in our churches today. Recently, I was asked by a member of the leadership committee of a church I am helping if I thought the pastor was making the correct decision regarding a program he was passionate about. I said, "My opinion doesn't matter. God placed the pastor at this church in a position of authority, not me. However, we will soon find out if God is in the program by how well it works. Our job is simply to step out in faith in support of the pastor as long as the course he chooses does not violate any Biblical precepts; open the door for sinful activities; or place the church at undue risk as a result of imprudent management. We are to oversee not second guess."
Questions to Ponder:Paul was not superior to the "super-apostles" as a result of his significant credentials or accomplishments. Rather, the reason for his authority was because the Lord gave his ministry to him. This is a very important point for us all to pay attention to in our own churches. Have you been submitting to the leadership in your church? Should you?