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Building Your Defense

I remember pouring hours of time into putting together the visual for my senior project in high school. Although I worked hard, the teacher felt it was thrown together at the last minute. I worked alone, so there was no one to appeal to on my behalf. I was deflated and discouraged.

I can only imagine how Paul felt as he was writing 2 Corinthians 1:12-14. He had turned his life around, and he was sold out to Jesus. Yet he found himself defending his credibility. “Now this is our boast,” Paul says in verse 12. “Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.”

There was a lot more at stake with Paul’s credibility than a high school grade. Damage would have been done to the spread of the Gospel if Paul was proven untrustworthy. Paul understood the risk, so he appealed to the Corinthians.

The importance of how we conduct ourselves should not be lost on us. Our lives are not lived alone; people are measuring our credibility. We must understand that our lives either point people to the cross or point people away from it. Each day, we have the opportunity to build our defense by being sincere and having integrity like Paul. Then, when the time comes, we should have no issues finding people we can appeal to in our defense.

Reflect:

  • Who in your life can you appeal to for affirmation and accountability?
  • Take time to ask those close to you about the qualities they see in you on daily basis. Do these qualities point people to Jesus?
  • Paul says his integrity and sincerity come from God’s grace, not worldly wisdom. What do you think is the difference between these? How can you be sure you’re not following worldly wisdom?

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