The work drama continues into the weekend. With all of the new commitments and challenges, it becomes a difficult planning game versus scheduling/resources. I will have to work more through the next couple of days but hopefully I can keep it segregated from the time I need to be spending with my family.
11 Therefore, being conscious of fearing the Lord with respect and reverence, we seek to win people over [to persuade them]. But what sort of persons we are is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood by God, and I hope that it is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood also by your consciences (your inborn discernment). 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but we are providing you with an occasion and incentive to be [rightfully] proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who pride themselves on surface appearances [on the virtues they only appear to have], although their heart is devoid of them. 2 Corinthians 5:11-12 [AMP]
Today’s passage gives us a little deeper look into the perception struggles Paul dealt with in his ministry. Verse 11 can have 2 different meanings but when you look at Paul’s use of the Greek words he uses in this verse in other areas of writing, this is the definition that sticks out.
Verse 10 was talking about the Judgement seat we will all stand before when the Lord returns to launch the beginning of His forever Kingdom. In light of this eventual judgement, Paul feels led to ‘win people over’ or persuade them to ‘FEAR THE LORD’. What Paul is saying here is that his way of ‘winning’ or ‘persuading’ people is biblically supported and he has already denounced crafty and dishonest manipulation of God’s word…so this winning or persuading is God honor. The thinking is that this message was in his letter because there were detractors in the Corinthian church who were challenging and criticizing his approach. Paul is saying he has confidence in his approach because he has faith that this being wide open and visible to the Lord, is pleasing to Him.
This above interpretation is then supported by verse 12 where Paul is saying that those who are converts to Jesus that were led to their Salvation by Paul, can be proud of the ministry that brought them to that Salvation. Now he levies the target against those detractors by telling this church in Corinth to have pride in Paul’s ministry because it is God honoring; that the church can admonish those who pride themselves on ‘external appearances’ yet lack the pure heart which is God is really looking at.