“For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.” (2 Corinthians 5:12/KJV).
As you read through the Pauline epistles to the Corinthians you will easily make out that some people were opposing and criticising the apostle at Corinth. It is when you are criticised that you are likely to say much to defend yourself. Then you are especially prone to boast about your accomplishments and achievements.
For the purpose of this blog post I cannot exhaustively deal with the conflicts and discussions at Corinth. Yet in the verse quoted above Paul is pointing us to some important concept as far as boasting is concerned.
What are the standards by which we measure and commend ourselves? Are we primarily concerned with our outward appearance? Or worse than that, are we merely pretending?
God is concerned about our real intentions. He is not carried away with our big show.
In the Old Testament God sometimes complains that his people were involved in many religious activities, but nevertheless their hearts were far from him. It is possible to do many pious things, to speak prayers and to attend services only outwardly.
We can get involved in many Christian activities and boast about that. We can do many things just to be seen and admired by men.
But what are we really up to? Is there anything commendable about our true motives?