Defending the Faith

John Koedyker

READ : 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

Let no one take me for a fool. (v. 16 NIV)

When I was in high school, our youth group was in charge of handing out free Bibles and Christian literature at a booth at the local fair. We were especially excited to share our faith. Later, when our youth group met, I heard that one of our members got into an argument with someone about the Bible. We quickly realized that arguing about faith does not usually bear fruit.

In these verses Paul resorts to what he admits is a kind of foolish talk. He says that he hates to do it, but he feels that he must. For him it was a matter not only of defending his own honor as an apostle but also of defending the honor of the gospel of Christ.

In my own life as a Christian and a pastor there have been times when it would have been wrong for me to let false teaching go unchallenged. But I have also realized that a positive Christian witness usually goes a lot farther than arguing.

Paul thought likewise and thus ends the discussion by pointing to all the hardships he endured as evidence of the integrity of his apostleship and teaching. Paul is a good example of the truth of what Jesus said: “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt. 7:16 NIV).

PRAYER

Lord, help me to always leave a positive witness for Christ. Amen.