Have you ever looked in desperation after someone close to you who was willfully walking away from what you knew to be true, pure and genuine?  Each step they took broke your heart.  But, you couldn’t make a choice for them; it was their decision, their life, their responsibility.

But, you made yourself a promise at that discouraging time.  If you ever had a chance to help someone else, then you would warn them before it was too late. The next time you would risk sounding like a worry-wart.

Paul is doing that for the Corinthian believers.  He is risking his personal comfort and reminding these believers of his own credentials as a believable teacher.  In his mind the apostle was venturing into foolish territory by listing human credentials of believability.

However, he was willing to do that if it would benefit them.  If they would somehow turn away from the deceptive words and lives of those who embraced good-sounding falsehood, then this “foolishness” would be worth the personal embarrassment.  Paul was feeling a godly jealousy for these believers.

Foremost in Paul’s heart was to present these believers to Jesus Christ untainted by worldly loyalties.  Purity of faith without any distractions from the one and only true Savior was his passion.  Tolerating the presence of error was a danger in itself.

Eventually, a constant influence wears an opening into the mind of anyone.  Vulnerability is universal to us all.  Those who are older and called by God from the ages are our protection.

The attractions from those who are a danger is their eloquence.  Credentials and worldly fame lure people to consider the words of these who are seeking personal gain.  But, if it is a compromise from a loyal relationship with Jesus or a degradation of the exclusive doctrine representing the Lord, then, it is a danger, subtle but nevertheless, insidious.  

Clarity of what is true is the basis of spiritual loyalty.  Sincere people even promise that love is their pure motive.  But, if the results of their allegations are hurtful to the name and character of who Jesus is, then it is false. 

Paul could sense the erosion of compromise washing away the devotion of the Corinthians.  The joy of their true faith had begun to  slip away.  They were finding fault in what they had originally learned.

Do you know Jesus? Stay faithful to Him as He will to you.  Do not compromise but stay true, pure and sincere in your loyalty to Him.

2 corinthians 11.1-6

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography