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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.


that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance [face]

Some ministers at Corinth boasted of their physical appearance and outward exhibition. They sought to curry favor with the crowd. They changed their message to please people.


God puts little stock in external credentials.


Things are not always what they appear to be. Some people put on a phony front. They are not what they appear to be. They parade pseudo-love for others, whereby they simply use people for their ends. They appear attractive and sweet but are full of deadly poison. The issue is not what people see but what God perceives in the soul. If we were aware of what God knows about us, we would not even like ourselves. In the final analysis, the final judgment of things is what is most important. What is the Lord’s assessment of our lives? Everything will be clear at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

If someone misrepresents you, leave it to the Lord at His final assessment. He will clarify things then. If the issue is ours, then we must ask the question, “Lord, do I have any ill will toward anyone?” It will make no difference what someone said about us if we attempt to justify our sin. Our Lord will assess whatever our attitude was in something we did to determine whether it was rewardable or not. We cannot get closure on everything in time; closure will come in the future.

Are we persons of envy? Envy is the dissatisfaction with our lot in life. Or, to say it another way, we are unhappy with God’s plan for our lives. Envy is “rottenness of the bones”; that is, it eats at the structure of our lives.