Today’s Scripture: For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 2 Corinthians 11:5
In this chapter of 2nd Corinthians, Paul is getting ready to do some serious boasting. It was not something that he wanted to do. His enemies were spreading lies about him, and so out of necessity, he had to reestablish his God-given authority.
In our verse today, he says, “I am not the least bit behind the chiefest of the apostles.” However, in his first letter to the Corinthians, he had said that he was the least of all the apostles. Doesn’t that seem to conflict?
In 1st Corinthians, Paul said, “Because I persecuted the church, I am what I am: the least of the apostles.” He humbly put himself down a little, saying I don’t deserve this because of what I’ve done, but he was deserving to be called one of the chiefest apostles. He was used by God to pen several books of the New Testament, so he was very prominent.
A lot of the Corinthian Christians didn’t get past the fact that they were saved; they were carnal and fleshly. Many had sin in their lives. They were changing the Gospel. Because of their carnality and weakness, they had been led astray by these false apostles who were attacking Paul’s credibility and credentials.
There will come a time when you must choose who you will listen to. Option A is someone who talks a good talk and sounds like they are intelligent. They sound like they know what they are talking about, but when you look past their words, you don’t see a life lived for service, or a life of sacrifice to back up what they said. Option B is someone else giving you advice, but they have been through the battles and the wars. Their life has been laid on the line over and over, and the sacrifice has been made. Which one should you listen to?
I suggest you should listen to the one who has the track record, the life to back it up. When you are listening to advice, look very carefully at the life of the person giving the advice. Look at their family, ministry, career, and analyze it. It will help protect you from being led astray.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.