2 Corinthians 10:1-3
2Co 10:1 I, Paul, myself am encouraging you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ– I who am humble when looking you in the face, but bold toward you when I am away!–
2Co 10:2 When I am present, please do not make me have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.
2Co 10:3 Because although we walk in the flesh, we are not engaging in combat according to the flesh.
The critics of Paul in the Cortinthian churches have suggested that he does not really have what it takes to be a good leader. They said that his words sound forceful enough when someone else reads them from his letters, but when he actually visits and you hear him in person, he is milk toast!
These critics misunderstood Paul’s meek and gentle demeaner. They expected him to assert his influence the way other Gentile leaders do. But Paul knows that true spiritual leadership engages in combat kata pneuma, not kata sarka. The true spiritual leader prays, gently speaks God’s words of truth, and lets the Holy Spirit demonstrate God’s power. If need be, Paul is prepared to speak out boldly in rebuke of those critics, but he does not want to have to.
LORD, give us the courage to fight our battles on our knees.