Paul was a man of humility. But he wasn’t what we’d consider a quiet man. No! He was quite bold with the gospel. In fact, some first century Gentiles might have considered him a bit obnoxious. Paul held nothing back, but was all in and extremely bold in his ministry. He loathed timidity in God’s work, but was 100% committed to the ministry God had given him and the people in it.
What can we learn from Paul’s example of boldness mixed with humility? These are two characteristics that seem at odds with each other, however, we’re called to possess both. So how do we balance the two? When should we be bold and when should we be humble? I believe Paul gives us the answer in II Corinthians 10:13:
“But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.”
The context of this verse is Paul defending his ministry before the Corinthians with verse thirteen being part of that defense. Here, Paul gives a reason for his boldness and boasting. They did not boast or brag about all things, but only spoke strongly about the things God had specifically called them to. In these things they spoke highly of and shared freely.
So what does that teach and show us?
It’s okay to boast or talk openly about the ministry God has given you to do, just don’t do it beyond your limit. But on the other hand, don’t hold back from speaking up and promoting the area and work God has called you to. Defend it, share it, tell others about it, and be bold in it. Once you know where God wants you to be, be all in. Hold nothing back from serving the Lord, whether in action, giving, or speech. Stand firmly, resolutely, and immovably on the platform God has given you, and be bold and take ownership of the work God is calling you to.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power. So be bold in your calling, share your ministry, defend with passion the work God has assigned to you, and don’t be afraid to do a little boasting with all humility for the sake of the Lord.
Remember, Paul was a great man of humility, but he wasn’t afraid to do a little boasting and bragging about the gospel. So neither should we! Let’s just make sure that we do not boast beyond our limits, but rather keep it centered on what God is doing and not on us.
So go out, stand tall, seek out God’s work for you and be bold in it!
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
~II Timothy 1:7
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