Read 2 Corinthians 3:1-6
One of the greatest experiences of my life was travelling to Israel in 2012.
I don’t remember a lot but can recall standing in Caesarea Maritima amongst some ruins. Our teacher and tour guide said, “Oh, by the way, we are currently standing within 50 feet of where Paul appealed to Caesar” (Acts 25).
Chills ran throughout my body as I grappled with that statement.
We then walked over to what was a horse track back in ancient times. As we escaped the sun by standing under a porch where the ruler would address the people of the day, our teacher told us that it was above our heads where Herod was eaten alive by worms in Acts 12 because he took the praise of the people and not giving glory to God.
What a one-two punch, am I right?
That visual has always stuck out to me. I never want to be a prideful person. But, let’s be honest, it’s easy to accept the praise that people give to you.
Today, when people speak kind words to me, while thankful, I’m tempted to think higher of myself than I should. I combat those emotions by thinking of that horse track in Caesarea Maritima.
Through anything that I do, I don’t want people to see me, I want them to see Jesus within me. If thinking of Herod doesn’t work, I will vocally speak truth out loud until my heart accepts it:
“Your words, not mine.”
“Glory to you, God.”
“You be praised, Father.”
I will admit. I’m not 100% successful at diverting praise to Jesus and the Corinthian believers seemed to struggle with this as well.
In our reading today, Paul needs to dish out some humble pie because the Corinthian church began to think a little too highly of themselves:
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again?”
Apparently, this was an ongoing problem.
“Such confidence we have through Christ before God.”
The only confidence that we can have is through Christ and for His glory. Without Him, we are nothing. It is only through Him that we can live and breathe.
Personally, I am honored that God would choose me to be one of many vessels telling people about the hope they can have through Jesus.
As you take an honest inventory of your life, are you tempted to think too highly of yourself? In what areas are you most tempted to do so? In what way are you going to humble yourself before God?
If you need to, think of Herod. It’s better to humble yourself before God humbles you.