In 2 Corinthians 10:17, Paul wrote that a person should only boast (express pride) in the Lord (God). Now, however, Paul seems to boast in something that he himself has done. He is proud of how he behaved towards the Christians in Corinth and its surrounding region, Achaia. He refused to accept any money from them during the 18 months that he worked there. He was very pleased that he had acted in that manner*. However, it was Paul who told us to boast only in the Lord. We would not expect Paul to boast about himself so soon afterwards.
The explanation is that Paul is not actually boasting about himself in 2 Corinthians 11:10. He is boasting about the goodness of God. God did not merely send Paul out to declare his message, the gospel. God also provided for Paul as Paul declared that message. Nobody in Corinth or in Achaia had to pay in order to hear that message. So by both his words and his actions, Paul showed them that the gospel is free. Christís death for us is an act of Godís grace (kindness), for which we cannot pay*.
Of course Paul believed that Corinthís Christians should give for the work of God. Chapters 8 and 9 are his instructions about a gift that they intended to give. Paul had also taught them to pay properly those people who worked for God among them*. However, Paul insisted that he himself would not accept such a payment from Corinthís Christians. Paul was not a rich man*, but he was trusting God to provide for him*. He was sure that God would provide Ė he even boasted about it.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.