11: Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. 12: For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 13: But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 14: For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: 15: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, 16: To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. 17: But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18: For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Paul continues to talk about those who think that his letters are weighty and powerful. He says, the way in which you think of us in our absence by our letters is the way in which you will see us in your presence in our deeds. Paul says, we are not like those who compare themselves with some that put themselves forward because they measure themselves by comparing themselves with each other. This is not wise. But we do not boast of things beyond our true measure but we measure ourselves according to the rule of what God has made us to be. This measure is how you should measure yourselves. We do not think that we have exceeded ourselves in bringing the Gospel to you. We do not boast of things beyond what we have done. We do not boast of what others have done as if we have done them. But we hope that when your faith in God is extended we will be find that our measure of ministry will be greatly increased. Our aim is to preach the gospel in region beyond where it has come so far and not to boast in another mans line of ministry which is close by. If we are to glory at all then let us glory in the Lord. You see it is not he that commandeth himself that is approved by God, but the one who is approved by God is the one that he commended by God. Self praise is no recommendation. Paul is very careful to point out that the praise of men and the praise that a man has for himself is very much below the true measure of his ministry. The true measure of his ministry is Gods estimation of his ministry.
- Why is it not wise to measure yourself by other people?
- In what way is Pauls missionary vision revealed here?
- I what can we glory?