12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
Some in the Corinthian church charged the apostle Paul with double-dealing and fickleness. He promised to come to them within a short time, but he delayed his coming. This was an opportunity for Paul’s adversaries to cast aspersions on his integrity.
Paul now explained his motives for ministry.
our boasting is this:
The idea of boasting occurs 29 times in 2 Corinthians. The meaning is confidence. Biblical boasting does not carry ideas such as arrogance, audacity, or bragging. Paul did not vaunt himself here (1 Co 1:29; 9:15-16; 2 Co 10:13-15). The issue for Paul was not his person but his work as an apostle. Some Corinthians did not attribute to Paul the authority God granted him.
It is necessary to defend one’s ministry at times.
It is human proclivity to want others to appreciate or even admire us. This is a sign of weakness in our character. A mature person rises above what others think about him or her.
Asserting one’s credibility is not wrong. It depends on why we do it. If we do it to make ourselves better than others, then it is wrong. If we do it to recognize what God has done through us, then it is proper (2 Co 10:17). God deserves the credit for what He does in our ministry.
There are people in today’s church who cast aspersions on their leaders. This causes suspicion in their leadership. It is necessary at times for a career minister to justify both his character and conduct. In most situations, it is better to wait for the Lord to adjudicate the matter, but there are rare times when ministers are forced to defend themselves.