Church leaders often compare themselves to each other; and that can become a serious problem. They might compare their importance, the size of their churches, or what results they are achieving. If they are doing well, that can be the cause of proud attitudes. It not, it upsets them. Sometimes that can produce a strange effect. A church leader might even feel a sense of despair because God is using someone else in a powerful manner. The right reaction would be to praise God for what that other person was achieving.
Even sincere church leaders may sometimes compare themselves in that way. However, when Paul wrote 2 Corinthians 10:12, he was not dealing with sincere people. He was speaking about people who did not declare the true message from God. They were proud people, who had replaced Godís message with their own ideas*.
These people compared themselves, not to test the quality of their own work, but to show themselves greater than other people. They wanted to gain power and authority over everyone else in the church. So, they tried to prove that they were more important than anyone else.
Paul did not consider it wise for church leaders to compare themselves with each other. We can see his attitude from how he described his own work in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10. Paul considered himself the least of the apostles (the first Christian leaders). In fact, he did not think that he even deserved to be called an apostle. Paul had worked hard - but really, it was Godís grace (kindness) that had worked through Paul. What Paul had achieved was really the work of God. Unless God, in his kindness, had done these wonderful things, Paul would have achieved nothing whatever.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.