Good boasting (2 Corinthians 1 v 12-14)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

The fact that Paul recommends boasting here is a bit odd. After all, no one likes a boaster (including God)! So what’s Paul doing?!

Read 2 Corinthians 1:12

There are two sets of behaviours to look at here. First we’ll look at Paul’s boast—and then at what he expects from the Corinthians.

Paul’s boast…

• What does Paul say about his behaviour among the Corinthians (v 12)?

Re-read 2 Corinthians 1:12.
• Take a close look at Paul’s boast, and ask yourself—could I say this about myself? Is that what characterises my life?
• Take one of the things Paul mentions—distinctiveness, honesty and listening to God instead of man. Work out how you can display this quality more in your own life.

…and their response

• What does Paul want them to do with this letter (v 13)?
• Looking at these verses, how would you describe Paul’s relationship with the Corinthians?
• What are Paul’s expectations for their future relationship (v 14)?
• Why do you think Paul writes like this?

It seems that the Corinthian church didn’t particularly want to be associated with Paul. He didn’t sound or look impressive (1 Corinthians 2:1), unlike the many other speakers who showed up in their city.

They didn’t boast about knowing him. But Paul is hopeful that one day they’ll realise that what pleases God, and what
it’s right to boast about, is a life of holiness, sincerity and humble listening to God.

TIME OUT… Read 1 Corinthians 1:11, 1 Corinthians 3:1, 1 Corinthians 5:1.
Paul’s relationship with the Corinthian Christians was not always smooth. Between writing 1 and 2 Corinthians Paul
seems to have visited them, although the visit didn’t go all that well. But Paul still trusts God—and trusts that they will
listen to God’s word, even when he has uncomfortable things to say.
• Are we ready to listen to Paul when he says hard things to us?
• Are we willing to be associated with Paul’s teaching and lifestyle even if it’s unpopular or unfashionable?

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published January 04, 2012.

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