Scripture:

Vs 11 “Let a person understand that what we (Paul) say by letter when absent, we do when present.”
Vs 12 “… when they (Paul’s opponents) measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”
Vs 17 “Let one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Observation:

Paul is frustrated at the Corinthian church here for having to defend himself against false attacks.
Paul simply wants to preach the Gospel to them, but they are listening to people who undermine the truth by casting doubt on Paul’s character and integrity. These opponents of Paul then go further to disparage Paul for superficial reasons like physical appearance and speaking ability.
But Paul’s opponents aren’t satisfied to try to tear down Paul.
We see their motivation: To boost their own stature!
But because they lack a true understanding and grasp of the Gospel, what they compare each other to is a false measure: Themselves!

Application:

What am I seeking on a daily basis? Truth? The Kingdom of God? Or the kingdom of self?
How can I tell? Who am I more critical of? Myself or others? And if I’m critical of someone, what are my intentions? To draw them closer to the Jesus, or to make me feel better about myself?
And this isn’t just about the people, in general, around me or in my life broadly. What about in church, specifically?
The Church as a global body is full of critics. Does it really need another one?
When I start measuring myself against others, it’s never going to end well.
I will either choose the wrong thing to measure or the wrong person to measure against.
Why? Because I want to make myself look good. I want to boast of myself.
I have a True measure I must stick to: God’s Word.
And I have a True Person to measure against: Jesus.
And what’s so beautiful about the Truth of the Gospel is that when I see how I don’t measure up, I don’t have to beat myself up or dwell in despair.
Why not? Because when God “measures me” or “compares” me” or “critiques me”, He looks at me and sees Jesus!
There is no better news than that.
And I pray I boast about all the days of my life!

Prayer:

God, you are so good.
Good to forgive me when I see others wrongly.
Good to forgive me when I see the leaders you out in place wrongly.
Good to forgive when I see myself wrongly.
Good to forgive me when I see You wrongly.
Thank you for Your Truth.
I pray I never seek another one.
Keep me from wanting to compare myself to false measures or boast about myself.
Thank you for loving me like the good father you are.
In Jesus name, Amen.