2 Corinthians 10
The right kind of boldness 1
Thoughts and imagination; theories 4
Judge not by appearance 7
Humans as standard; competition 12

 1 ¶ Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
 2  But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
.3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
  1 - Beseech you Or "pleading with you."
  2 - Not be bold Paul makes a strong appeal in the next chapter to avoid false teachings 2co11.
  3 - Flesh Here is a comparison between the physical and the spiritual flesh. The spiritual flesh would be the human nature. The thought continues to the next verses.
.4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
.5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
.6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
  4 - Strong holds Literally "castles" or "fortresses." It is our responsibility to warn people about the deceptions of Satan remembering that he is a conquered foe lu0404.
  5 - Imaginations "Speculations," NASB. Still good advice. Many who get into theories beyond what God has revealed, lose their faith. 
  5 - Captivity every thought Here is basis for prayer. Paul may have had speculations in mind, but the principle is good for other thoughts, too. If we play with sin in our minds, we cannot expect that God will rescue us from that which we are determined to love.
  5 - Obedience of Christ Or after the pattern of Christ ph0205.
  6 - Revenge all disobedience We need to get tough with our bad habits.
.7 ¶ Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
 8  For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
 9  That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
.10  For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
 11  Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
  7 - Outward appearance 2co0512.
  8 - Boast From hauchaomai. Paul uses the word 32 times in this epistle. The false leaders at Corinth had apparently been positioning themselves as great. This reminds me of some TV preachers today. Paul appeals to his own authority directly from Christ.
  9 - Terrify you This would not have been Paul's objective but the guilty are always uncomfortable when their sins are pointed out.
  10 - His letters What a blessing they have been to us. One letter has apparently been lost. See 1co0509. Interesting personal description of the apostle. The text seems to imply "that there had been already more letters of Paul received by the Corinthians than the one we have, namely, First Corinthians; and that they contained strong reproofs." (JFB Commentary).
.12 ¶ For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.   12 - Compare ourselves Paul is defending the integrity of his ministry, a primary theme of this epistle 2co0301, 2co0512. The actions of other preachers may be seen in the verses here. See note below.
 13  But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
 14  For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
 15  Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
 16  To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
 17  But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
.18  For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
  13 - Without our limit That is, not beyond what is true and proper to express. Paul had been divinely sent to Corinth ac1809. Those who spoke against his ministry had not. Compare 2co1103.
  15 - Beyond our measure Paul's work was to enter new territories ro1520 and was not thereby competing with others.
 15 We do not boast beyond limit, in other men's labors; but our hope is that as your faith increases, our field among you may be greatly enlarged, (RSV)
 16 - Regions beyond These would have included Illyricum, Italy, and Spain. ro1519. Illyricum is "A large mountainous Roman province in the northwestern Balkan Peninsula. [It] incorporates the territory along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea from Macedonia to Italy and west to the Danube River." (Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible © 2000). See map for this whole area.
  17 - Glory [or "boast"] in the Lord This is not directly praising Him. Think about it.
2nd Corinthians home
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    There is an important lesson in the principles Paul has expressed above. Only Christ is our standard. I believe this applies to competitive activities that foster human pride and rejection of others. Most sports are usually like this. People thus crush others to lift themselves up. I would not condemn all competition in simple games for children. Even then, activities which involve helping or cooperating with others are better. Watching sports often takes many hours which are not used for witnessing to others and for exercise. As we know from what happens after sports events, the devil uses the competition to develop hatred. Consider is3503. Christ lived to bless others and so may we ac1038. The kind of satisfaction from following His example is very different from the results of worldly entertainment.
   Comparing ourselves spiritually is obviously a trap. When we see others we judge as worse, we tend to feel unconcerned about our own sins. Seeing people who seem more spiritual leads us to justify our own shortcomings.