Ok so Paul is doing some clarifying here. Paul is saying that ‘This is how you should regard us’ so that tells us that they aren’t regarding them as a servant or a steward. But that’s not news to us right?
We have learned through the last three chapters that the church of Corinth is not holding them to correct titles. And we know that because if they were viewing them correctly, they wouldn’t be giving allegiance to one or the other.
Because think about this simply. By saying that they are servants and stewards he’s saying that he has allegiance to God. So again Paul is pointing out their own ridiculousness by saying that they follow a servant and not the servants King. And that’s a pretty simple concept right? If a servant proclaimed a king and you were wanting to serve the king than logically you would follow who? The servant or the king? So it’s a pretty simple concept but again it is something to be careful about because it can be easy to idolize a person based on their gift and ignore the One who gave the gift.
Now Paul changes topics when we start to move on to verses 3 and 4 and it honestly seems like he is saying to not judge at all, but is not the case. The word judge here in the Greek is anakrino; which means to evaluate.
So Paul is saying ‘you know what it means to me that you evaluate me? Zero.’
Now when I see this, this tells me that Paul has had a great victory over his human self. Because he is a teacher and an extremely good one, and he just said ‘I don’t care what anybody thinks of me’ now thats not to say you shouldn't care about your representation of yourself and of Christ, but its the point of mans evaluation not being what defines you. And thats a huge deal in the church today. And that brings me to a question, What is your identity in? Its a simple question right? simple yes, but very tough. Its a passage like this that we need to evaluate ourselves by asking these kinds of questions, the church of Corinth had their identities in the Greek influences and what people actually thought of themselves but even worse, what they thought of themselves. And thats a scary place to be. We ourselves our not the ones who should be evaluating our own actions. Because sadly, due to us being fallen creatures and having a sin nature, we are all in the business of building up our own egos.
And I think if we really look into this its not hard to see, how many times have you done something that you didn't think was an issue until a brother or sister brought it to your attention? Its because they can see what we cannot. But there is a defining factor here int there? The people evaluating us need to be using something right? A looking through a filter so to speak. And that is the Word of God. Only then can someone evaluation have any ground to stand on. But once again, this requires something. And what I mean by that is, how well are you going to understand the issue if you yourself do not understand what scripture says about it? So its not just having others evaluate you but you yourself being grounded in the Word to understand it.
And that ties into our identity. Just like Paul didn't have his identity in peoples thoughts of him we should not either. Our identity needs to be from one source, and that is Christ.
So I encourage you to think and pray about this idea of your identity and who's evaluation matters, because again, if someone brings forth the Word of God to evaluate you, that's not them evaluating you but the Holy Spirit, and thats the best evaluation we could ever get!