Written by Tony Anderson
2 Corinthians 5:11-15: Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
If we are beside ourselves, we appear crazy or we demonstrate an irrational behavior. The Corinthian Christians probably thought Paul was crazy because he seemed content with a life of pain, trials, and discomfort.
Paul is not concerned with the opinions of his critics. He is only concerned with and desires what pleases God. Paul had arrived at the deliberate conclusion that “all” who realized what Christ had done for them (and he among them) must live with as much devotion toward Him as others toward themselves.
God’s devotion to us is clear. It is our devotion to God that needs to be evident. Paul was not bragging about himself and neither should we. By telling of his weakness, his trials, and his struggles Paul wanted the Corinthians to be encouraged. By telling the Corinthian Christians how God worked through his struggles and trials, Paul gave them something to answer those who boast about outward appearance.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1Sam. 16:7)
Prayer: “Father Thank You! Knowing that the heart of man can be so deceitful. Help me to keep my mind fixed on Jesus, so that all I say and do will be the life of the Lord Jesus that flows out from me, so that I may be pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!”