“Look at the obvious facts. Those who say they belong to Christ must recognize that we belong to Christ as much as they do. I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority. I’m not trying to frighten you by my letters. For some say, ‘Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!’ Those people should realize that our actions when we arrive in person will be as forceful as what we say in our letters from far away.”2 Corinthians 10:7-11
For some say, ‘Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!’
What are they reacting to? Paul’s authority! Many people today have problems with authority. Why? In some case they are reacting to the abuse of authority with good reason. There is much of that going of these days. But there is another reason for reacting to authority. Authority questions our actions and calls us to account for the things we do. Those who are doing things which are not kosher can’t stand the scrutiny of supervision and react to authority because it exposes the darkness in them. It is clear this was happening in Paul’s case. He is rightfully exercising his authority as a bone fide apostle of Christ and the founder of the Corinthian church to call people to account for the questionable practices there. Note the response of the super apostles or their supporters – Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak and his speeches are worthless. Wow interesting claim. Note it is a personal attack on Paul. It doesn’t address the truth or otherwise of Paul’s comments. They merely launch a slander campaign. This is typical of reactions bred from self interest. They are reacting to Paul’s authority and they are reacting to truth. The typical way Satan masks the truth is by smoke screening it, special effects and mirrors. You will always cut to the heart of the matter if you seek after the truth.
Paul was not ashamed or afraid of using his God-given authority, He was not in fact boasting of the authority given him in Christ. He was addressing the issue of whether he had authority or not. He made it clear his authority came from God. He was given it when he was given his commission by Christ. He merely tells the Corinthians that. His apostleship was being questioned and maligned by the “super apostles”, so he asserts his authority and reminds them of where his authority came from. Never once does Paul boast of his authority in any of his writings. He boasts on lots of other things (weaknesses) but never his authority. In fact he uses his authority to build up the Corinthians not hold power over them. His heart is genuinely for their good. He exercised his authority because he had to and for their sake but they and others with vested interest kicked him in the teeth for it. (Figuratively not literally – or maybe it was literal too but unrecorded).
When people start playing the authority card check it out thoroughly. Determine where they are coming from and respond accordingly with truth, no matter what it costs. Misuse of authority happens everywhere. In the home, at the office, in social situations. Watch for it. Watch too for the false reactions to authority and align yourself rightly. I like Paul’s reaction in the last verse above. “These people should realize (by now) that our actions when we arrive in person will be as forceful as what we say in our letters.” What you see is what you get. Paul is ever the same, consistent with his character, his inner self. The inner and the outer match. No matter what it costs. The same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I wonder where he gets that from.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Winston Churchill
To blame is to B-lame.Rick Warren
If your attitude stinks at home, it is only a matter of time until people smell it at church.Casey Treat