Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. 2 Cor 3:5
Paul, in his attempt to defend his right to be a minister for the gospel, highlights a significant point that all Christians will do well to heed. He boldly proclaims that the sufficiency of his credentials to serve in the ministry is Jesus Christ himself. He does not appeal to his Hebraic pedigree or his rabbinic tutelage under Gamaliel but rests his confidence solely in Christ. Far from boasting in any kind of self-sufficiency that comes from within himself, he attributes any and all of his accomplishments as a result of the working of God in his life.
What credentials do we appeal to when we may need to prove our discipleship or spirituality? Do we tend to get blinded by our own achievements and success that we are unable to see the need for continuing divine direction and sustenance? God’s call, whether to be a disciple of Christ or a leader in Christ’s ministry, cannot be fulfilled in our own strength. Christ reminds us that “without me you can do nothing.” We do not have the sufficiency in ourselves. God’s power has no limits when he is acknowledged and invited to be our strength.
On the other hand, do we only see our insufficiency? Do we tend to get so discouraged by our lack and brokenness that we pull back and may be tempted to do nothing? Then, we need to recognize the enabling strength of Christ that empowers even in human weakness. May God grant us the humility to see that in our self-sufficiency we are nothing, as well as the confidence that, in our nothingness, we can still accomplish in the sufficiency that is from God.
Prayer: Our ever-loving Father, grant us the humility to see the futility of our self-sufficiency so that we may seek you and find strength in you. Give us also the confidence in Christ that we may step out in faith and accomplish in your name’s sake though we are but nothing. Amen.
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