July 1

2 Corinthians 12:2-7a

“But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me,” vs. 6

It was not uncommon for people in Paul’s day to experience heavenly journeys. Often such persons claimed to have had great mysteries explained, which they then passed on to their followers. Paul tells the Corinthians that he has had such an experience–he’d been caught up into the third heaven and had heard things that mortals were not allowed to repeat. But he doesn’t consider that such an experience is worth bragging about. It would only prove to be a barrier between himself and those he was trying to reach. Paul knew a great truth–people connect, not on the basis of spiritual strengths but on the level of their common weaknesses. There is nothing that turns us off faster than to be in the presence of someone enthralled with their own spiritual abilities or gifts. The more they talk about themselves and their accomplishments the less they have to say to us. The most effective proclaimers of the gospel will be humble persons willing to share their own struggles. In their vulnerability they become relatable, and their message of grace is received with gladness. There just isn’t any room in a community of faith for braggarts!

Thoughts for the Day: With whom do I share my vulnerabilities?

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