2 Corinthians 10

1 Now I Paul, myself, entreat you by the humility and gentleness of Christ; I who in your presence am lowly amongst you, but being absent am bold towards you. 2 Yes, I beg you that I may not, when present, show courage with the confidence with which I intend to be bold against some, who consider us to be walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, 5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full. 7 Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ’s, so also we are Christ’s. 8 For though I should boast somewhat abundantly concerning our authority, (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down) I will not be disappointed, 9 that I may not seem as if I desire to terrify you by my letters. 10 For, “His letters”, they say, “are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is despised.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present. 12 For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but within the boundaries with which God appointed to us, which reach even to you. 14 For we don’t stretch ourselves too much, as though we didn’t reach to you. For we came even as far as to you with the Good News of Christ, 15 not boasting beyond proper limits in other men’s labors, but having hope that as your faith grows, we will be abundantly enlarged by you in our sphere of influence, 16 so as to preach the Good News even to the parts beyond you, not to boast in what someone else has already done. 17 But “he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.” 18 For it isn’t he who commends himself who is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–6

While others thought meanly, and spake scornfully of the apostle, he had low thoughts, and spake humbly of himself. We should be aware of our own infirmities, and think humbly of ourselves, even when men reproach us. The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes. Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. Conscience is accountable to God only; and people must be persuaded to God and their duty, not driven by force. Thus the weapons of our warfare are very powerful; the evidence of truth is convincing. What opposition is made against the gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men! But observe the conquest the word of God gains. The appointed means, however feeble they appear to some, will be mighty through God. And the preaching of the cross, by men of faith and prayer, has always been fatal to idolatry, impiety, and wickedness.

Verses 7–11

In outward appearance, Paul was mean and despised in the eyes of some, but this was a false rule to judge by. We must not think that none outward appearance, as if the want of such things proved a man not to be a real Christian, or an able, faithful minister of the lowly Saviour.

Verses 12–18

If we would compare ourselves with others who excel us, this would be a good method to keep us humble. The apostle fixes a good rule for his conduct; namely, not to boast of things without his measure, which was the measure God had distributed to him. There is not a more fruitful source of error, than to judge of persons and opinions by our own prejudices. How common is it for persons to judge of their own religious character, by the opinions and maxims of the world around them! But how different is the rule of God’s word! And of all flattery, self-flattery is the worst. Therefore, instead of praising ourselves, we should strive to approve ourselves to God. In a word, let us glory in the Lord our salvation, and in all other things only as evidences of his love, or means of promoting his glory. Instead of praising ourselves, or seeking the praise of men, let us desire that honour which cometh from God only.

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