We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, even if you don’t understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you. 2 Corinthians 1:12–16
There will be times that your sincerity will be questioned and doubted. Most of the time, to have the last say in an argument could be satisfying. But what will matter in the end is not much on the argument that we are presenting but how much we vouch on our integrity. This is what Paul was dealing with from the text. To answer those who question him about his claims, his faith, and his ministry, he told them about the source of his confidence. He asserted that he has clear conscience because he relied only in the grace of God. Though our conscience should not be the ultimate standard for judgment but it is important that we have clear conscience. He did not allow himself to be influenced by worldly wisdom for he was guided by “God-given holiness and sincerity.” He does not want his ego or pride to get in the way as he relate to others for he knew how such attitudes could hinder his effectiveness as he share the message of salvation. Similarly, our actions shouldn’t be an obstruction to the gospel message. We should examine our motives especially when we find ourselves more interested in insisting that we are “right.” Our words and actions should reflect God’s grace in our life. And as Paul alluded to from the text such working of God in us should be manifested by our humility and a sense of purpose in our interactions with others. It will be a great day when we know that we have a good relationship with others because our confidence rest upon God’s grace working in us. How are your words and actions speaking about your own pride? How do you go testifying about God’s grace in your life?
Noel De Guzman