Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 4 June 20:
2 Corinthians 10:17, 18 (2 Kings 2:24) — “’Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”
It is a shameful, idolatrous, and sinful thing for a Christian to ever boast of their own abilities, even when they fake humility by giving God the credit for how good they are. God shares credit with no one, and we are nothing of ourselves. All glory goes to God. It’s not about you. Do not draw attention to yourself, only to Jesus. Do not praise yourself, only Jesus. Examine yourself every time you say “I” or “me” to be sure you are not boasting. Every time you are tempted to boast, replace those personal pronouns with “Jesus Christ.” When you proclaim only Jesus, you might be viewed by others as fanatical and might lose friends and opportunities. However, you will be on a new, much greater path.
From Henry T. Blackaby: “It is common for us all to seek approval for our actions…. Paul said that he was not striving to obtain the approval of people. Some of his critics thought their criticisms could determine what he did. Yet these same people were praising themselves for their own opinions and behavior. They were seeking the approval of others, and they were receiving it. Jesus said that those who seek to gain the approval of others ‘have their own reward’ (Matt. 6:2–5). Paul, too, realized that achieving the praise of others is not difficult, but earning God’s approval is a far greater accomplishment. The affirmation ‘Well done!’ that Jesus received from the Father became Paul’s goal as well (2 Tim. 2:3–5). Paul knew that self-approval is not hard to attain. Paul himself had once been pleased with his own life, until he came to realize that the righteousness he was so proud of was mere rubbish in the kingdom of God (Phil. 3:8). After his conversion, Paul understood that God’s evaluation of his actions was what mattered, not his own opinion of himself. Whose opinion matters most to you? Have you become complacent, enjoying the approval of those around you? Have you become satisfied with your estimation of the way you are living? The commendation that matters most is the one that comes from God. The pleasure that your life gives to God should be your motivation to live righteously.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 4 June 20: See if you can avoid talking about yourself or taking credit for anything today. Don’t use the words “I” or “me” in conversation. Instead talk about Jesus. (2 Corinthians 10:17, 18) Also, focus on being a reconciler today. Remember, God has given you the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:16-31) Don’t look at others from a human perspective but rather from a spiritual point of view, understanding that their attitude problems are spiritual problems. Remember, you are engaged in a spiritual battle. The person who offends you is not the enemy but rather the objective, someone who is trapped in sin and suffering. Work through the Spirit to lead that person towards Jesus, regardless of how they treat you. Be a reconciler. (2 Cor 10:4)