by Christopher Harbin

Appropriate Glory
Christopher B. Harbin
2 Corinthians 10:12-18

We live on comparisons between ourselves and others. We like to find ways that make us seem better, smarter, more successful, or by some other means superior to others. If we can't do that, we find ways to denigrate others, lowering them to some lesser standard. In our comparisons, we act like a pack of animals seeking do determine our place in the pack, always with an eye on the position of command. If we are not careful, the result of our comparisons and struggles over prominence are a recipe for the destruction of the body to which we would otherwise belong.

Paul struggled against the very same obstacles in his ministry. He worked with the Corinthian believers, as with those of Ephesus, Philippi, and other places, to build a sense of unity among them. He raised funds for the believers suffering back in Palestine, partly again to build a sense of unity and joint purpose among all the Gentile churches and in their relationship with the Jewish believers back in Palestine. All the while Paul struggled for unity, the natural inclination of the believers was to apply the principles learned from their society. They struggled to compare themselves to one another, seeking advantage, position, prominence, and power. They did not really want to be one, they each wanted to be ''the one''.

There was a problem with that, a major problem. There is only one worthy to be considered supreme above the rest of us, and that is Jesus Christ. While we vie for prominence, position, and power, we are in effect struggling against the lordship of Christ Jesus. We don't want to consider that the quality of our actions, but that is the effect, for Christ calls us to unity in dependence and submission to the principles of the gospel. Those principles Jesus preached and lived do not provide room for our struggling for prominence over one another. They provide rather for submission to something greater than ourselves, to ...

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