i repeat, let no one think me foolish. but even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. what I am saying with this boastful confidence, i say not as the Lord would but as a fool. 2 Corinthians 11:16-17
if you’ve ever been in the room with someone who shamelessly lists off all of their qualifications in an attempt to impress those around them, or openly name-drops, then you’ve experienced a special kind of discomfort. doesn’t being around that kind of person make you want to never talk about yourself again?
yet somehow, there always seems to be a person or two (or many) who seem to be genuinely impressed by these people. if you’re like me, you’re thinking “guys, this person is obnoxious, don’t fall for this!”
well our good friend paul is experiencing this very thing, but with much more at stake. paul the apostle, with credibility that’s actually worth something, given by God, is now attempting to defend himself to the corinthians in order to be able to defend the true gospel to them.
he’s saying, “hey, the Lord wouldn’t throw his voice in among these false prophets, but I’m going to!” and here’s why: the integrity of the gospel is being lost, and paul’s voice must be heard as the loudest and the most credible in order to preserve the good news.
paul’s boastful confidence was and is backed up by the absolute truth of scripture. the corinthians were being so deceived by aggressive, loud-mouthed false teachers that paul was essentially strong-armed into sharing his own credentials as an apostle.
let us always be known as those who boast in Christ, not the flesh.
Lord, give us eyes to see false teaching for what it is. help us not to be hypnotized by confidence, credentials, or a “gospel” that is convenient for us. help us to risk looking like a fool to stand for truth like paul did. remove the fear of man. amen.