“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I really wish that this chapter could continue on in the same vein as the last few. I absolutely loved where we were headed and how encouraged I felt every time I dove into the Word. But for some reason, Paul stops here to defend his authority and his ministry. “I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world” (verse 2). Later, in verse 12, he bitingly declares, “Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!”
Apparently, the Corinthians were judging so-called important Christian based on appearances (verse 7). Many seemed to think that Paul was timid and unimpressive in person, which did not match up with his bold and forceful letters. But Paul assures them that they are not double-minded men, and their lives match up with their words. He reminds them that “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (verse 4). Essentially, while some of these Christians they were pointing to might have more impressive looking resumes, Paul and his co-workers in the ministry were living in such a way that confounded them. Jesus did the very same thing.
There were many instances when Jesus healed someone, then immediately commanded the person not to tell anyone–a command they often ignored. He also delayed in healing others to perform seemingly unimportant tasks, only to raise these people from the dead. While he delayed, those around him must have been offended; yet, Jesus knew that the urgency was not in the sickness of the body but in the sickness of the soul. Both He and Paul realized that following God’s will to the praise of His glory that some might be healed of their burden of sin overshadowed any other “good” thing to be done.
Once again, Paul says, “But, ‘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” (verses 17-18). Paul wants to accomplish the work set out to be done among the Corinthians and to watch their faith grow. But he will not stoop to puffing up his reputation, when he knows that it speaks for itself; or, rather, what he has seen the Lord do speaks to His working. As he said to them before in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”