Journal 2 Cor 1 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “For our boast is this: The testimony of our conscience (is) that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.
For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand—just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.” 2 Cor 1:12-14
Observation: What does Paul boast about here? In another place Paul writes about his boast is in the Cross; but it isn’t singular. Boasting comes at all different experience levels—and there is hope on this acknowledgement on That Day….
Analysis: Could I have referenced something else? Sure. I could have thought and written about afflictions or about Yes and No’s.
In all my readings I have experienced skipping over the “in-betweens” and paying attention to the “eye-candy.” But that doesn’t get me into the details of walking worthy of the Gospel. Some of the fine-tuning of discipleship are found in the in-betweens.
- “…we have behaved with simplicity and godly sincerity.”
- “…saying nothing but what you (yourselves) can read and understand…”
- “…that you will (decide) to have occasion to boast of us in the Day…”
How can I do any of the above? Do I do any of the above? Do I do these unconsciously or with conscious purpose?
I confess that only (and maybe) the second one is the one I adhere to the most—it wasn’t always that way. A lot of time I either ignored the Biblical record or was just happy to go so far, but not beyond, no deeper. I was a boor and the only boasting was done by me about me—even if I was silent.
However, these are three characteristics of godliness that I have been pursuing in the last number of years. I needed to so that I would be a godly example.
Paul wrote to Timmy: “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all would see your progress.” (1 Tim 4:15) Who did I need to see my progress? My number one disciple, the only disciple that God irrevocably assigned to me: My wife.
I know that I may be stretching the point with a mishmash of scripture references, but on That Day, when I stand before my Lord, justified and redeemed, having done the crown toss thing a moment before, and now I get to present my Wife, all done up like Eph 5 indicates. Jesus goes, “Well son, did you behave with simplicity and godly sincerity towards this woman? Were you saying and teaching stuff you couldn’t support in my Word, much less comprehend? If I ask the question, will she boast about you?”
I think of this kind of conversation happening, I really do. It is kind of a test for the man in the mirror—I am grading my own paper here on earth before I see heaven.
Prayer: Father, there may be folks reading this that will read this but forget that Justification and Sanctification are two separate functions. Keep me remembering that as well so that, in that Day, I don’t stumble and fall. AMEN