The limits of comparison (part 2)
|We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ.... 17 But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2Corinthians10:13-18)|
Paul is clear: Our value and worth comes from (1) doing what God has asked us to do and from (2) understanding that even what He asks is to do is only done in the strength that He gives.
Jesus told a parable that illustrated the same point:
"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8 Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' (Luke 17:7-10)"
When we make comparisons with one another or even when we compete with ourselves we have the wrong reference point.
Where does our worth come from?
- "Here I am Lord, I have come to do YOUR will" (Heb 10:7)
- "He must become greater and I must become less" (John 3:30)
So Paul focused on the "field God assigned" to him and when all the work was done he said I will "boast in the Lord!"
And then he knew that His commendation would come from God.
He would hear His Master say: "Well done, good and faithful servant."
May we learn from his example!