Emotions & Insecurities

  1. Message: In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul was still responding to the church in defense of himself after the false apostles had influenced the church with their smooth talk. They had gotten themselves “letters of recommendation” and were good at public speaking, so they used this fake status to discredit Paul and talk themselves up. Paul brought up all the things they were bragging about and then in comparison he mentioned all of the things he could brag about but wouldn’t. One of those things he mentioned was a heavenly encounter where he saw and heard things too amazing to share. He used that as proof that he had legitimate things to brag about, but was choosing not to. He told them that instead he would brag about his weakness because that is what makes God power known. He also mentioned a thorn in his side that God sent through satan to keep him humble. He asked God to take it away at three different times and God told him that his grace was sufficient because his strength is made perfect in our weakness. There are so many speculations about what that thorn in his flesh was. Scholars suggest it could have been a physical ailment, a speech impediment or a medical condition. My own speculation is that the thorn in his side was his own insecurity that he battled as people like these false apostles continuously came against him. To me it makes the most sense in the flow of what he was talking about. As he continued venting he still seemed really frustrated and passionate about it. To me it seemed he was trying to talk himself through doing the right thing. He mentioned at the end that they had brought the foolishness out of him. Then he finally let out his frustration that they should have endorsed him because he was not inferior to the false apostles and that the only “sin” he had committed to them was his choice to not financially burden them. If I’m not mistaken here it seems like Paul was really hurt and offended. After all, he was human and he had started this church and now he had been discredited and outdone by some imposters! This is just my opinion speaking here, but it seemed to me like Paul was fighting his emotions and talking himself into doing the right thing. I found this comforting that even the apostle went through emotions like this and battled to say and do the right thing in the middle of it all. I often fail this internally even if I appear to be holding it together. Our emotions and our insecurities can be so powerful, but as Paul stated here, God’s strength is perfected in our weakness.

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