December 3, 2009

Cry Baby Christians

Today I was doing some studying in Paul's writings to the church in Corinth. Toward the end of II Corinthians, Paul is dealing with some people who are bragging about their accomplishments as believers. He decides to show them what all he had done. His point isn't to impress people with all that God has done through him, but really to show them how useless it is to brag. In fact, he says that for him to engage in this kind of boasting was foolish.

Yet as you read you find that Paul endured some stuff that we cannot imagine. Beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, you name it, Paul had pretty much done it. However, he didn't think it worth mentioning. He thought it was kind of stupid to bring it up. That got me to thinking...

How often do we brag about what we've done or what we've endured? Better yet, how often do we whine about what we have "endured". I do it too, so it's OK for you to admit it. We like to spiritualize our so-called sufferings when chances are good that our sufferings are simply the results of our poor decisions.

The things we brag or whine about really end up looking stupid when we take a look at the life of Paul. I'm kind of glad that Paul acted "foolish" for a few moments in order to put people in their place. We like to complain, yet Paul probably would have never brought this stuff up if he hadn't been trying to make a point to the church in Corinth.

Next time we're tempted to brag or whine, we probably need to do a couple of things: remember that Paul said it was foolish & then we need to remind ourselves of all the things Paul could have bragged or whined about but didn't.

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