Proof of My Faith

Bible students have often been intrigued by Paul’s “trip to heaven.” Described briefly in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, it seems to have been a dramatic experience for the apostle. While in “the third heaven,” he saw things that must have been amazing and heard things he was not permitted to report.
Commentators have been impressed with the fact that this passage is the only place in which Paul discusses such heavenly visions. No one doubts that Paul received many revelations from the Lord, but he was apparently reluctant to talk about those times. Why was this?
The answer to that question is given in 2 Corinthians 12:6: “For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I forbear, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me” (NKJV).
In the first part of that verse, Paul defended his right to speak about the event in Paradise. He would “not be a fool,” he argued, for he would only be speaking the truth. Still he chose not to speak about it. Why? The NIV’s rendering may be a bit clearer: “But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.”
Here is a fundamental principle for all Christians. The thing that matters most about our Christian faith is not whom we’ve met or where we’ve been, but what we practice and say on a daily basis. It’s a principle that many so-called televangelists seem to have missed. They regularly trumpet their “experiences” and their “revelations” from the Lord. There’s plenty of reasons to doubt the validity of their claims. But even if the claims were true, should they be emphasizing such occurrences? Paul certainly didn’t, and for good reasons.
There’s one way in which my faith should be judged. Look at my daily life and see if it measures up to the teachings of God. Listen to the words I speak at my workplace, in my home, and among my friends; do they reflect the influence of the Lord? My Christian faith is of little value if it doesn’t reach into every corner of my life.
Where do I stand with my Lord? The proper response is not in boasting about dazzling events or celebrity associates. The test of my faith is how others see me in my everyday life.

One Reply to “Proof of My Faith”

  1. I would just like to offer a hearty AMEN on this article. My prayer is that all who read it take it to heart. A person’s witness before others should be something cherished above most everything else. I influence everyone I meet whether it is other believers or anyone else. Our words can build and our words can destroy. I like being in the constuction business with Jesus. The future is bleak in the destruction business with satan. Please watch your actions and words. What are we here for anyway? Thanks again.

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