Paul has shown the real difference between himself and the men who wanted to control Corinthís church.
Those men were so proud of their own strength. That included their strong character, their bold actions, their impressive speeches, and the powerful effect that they had on other people. They considered themselves great men, who deserved to be important leaders. Paul, on the other hand, did not desire that kind of strength. Paul was not trying to control people - in fact, he did not even want to control his own life. He simply wanted to serve Christ loyally*.
The men who wanted to control Corinthís church would have considered Paulís attitudes very weak. Paul only wanted people to see the power of God; Paul really did not care whether people respected him or not.
So, Paul chose not to be the strong leader that people expected him to be. However, God was still working very powerfully through his life (verse 12). In fact, God worked so powerfully in Paulís life because Paul served God so humbly. In other words, Paul loyally obeyed God in every situation. What other people considered Paulís weakness, was in fact strength.
Paul was pleased to serve God when God worked powerfully through him. However, Paul was also pleased to serve God when Paul suffered because of his relationship with Christ. In such situations, Paul often felt the weakness of his own body. Therefore, Paul realised that he could not depend on himself, but only on Christ. Paul needed great strength to stand firm for Christ during those troubles - but that strength could only come from Christ.
Next part: Why Paul wrote about himself (12:11)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.