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.
2 Corinthians 10:13
Having talked about the ministries that commend themselves, now Paul wants to deal with the fruit of his own ministry. According to the apostle, there is a place for boasting.
He says that the limits involve what God has called you to do. The Corinthian church was a part of the mission field that he was called to. So it’s proper for Paul to boast about the work being done there.
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. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory.
2 Corinthians 10:14-16
Paul is very careful to confine his boasting to the work he has been assigned to. We have to be careful about how we talk about our ministry.
Before COVID, I was able to travel and preach at a number of churches. Just because I spoke at a church that was growing, doesn’t mean that this growth was a direct result of my ministry. I can’t take any credit for it.
I can’t boast about what God is doing in that church. The problem comes in when we feel the need to make ourselves look good by claiming someone else’s victory. Too often we boast beyond the limits God has set for us.
Paul’s desire was for the church to continue to grow and mature in the faith. Because they were within the field of his calling, their growth means his growth as well.
The apostle doesn’t want to be constantly babysitting them. He wants them to get beyond the correction stage. In that way, he can move on to further expansion in the ministry.
I like the way Paul gives us the bottom line of this boasting.
But, “Let him 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.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18
Ultimately, everything we accomplish is because of what Christ has done. I might have obeyed Him and saw the results of that obedience. But the ultimate glory belongs to the Lord.
In the final analysis, it’s not what I think that counts. My approval is going to come from God. He’s the One I should be trying to please.
Question: What victories has God accomplished through you lately?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi