2 Corinthians 11:22-25
2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? Me too. Are they Israelites? Me too. Are they descendants of Abraham? Me too.
2Co 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? — I am talking like a madman–I am a better one, with far greater accomplishments, far more incarcerations, with uncountable beatings, and often near death.
2Co 11:24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
2Co 11:25 Three times I was beaten with sticks. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; I spent a night and a day adrift at sea;
Paul responds to his critics by telling them to do the math. He realizes that he is talking like a madman, but if they want to argue that they are better servants (diakonos) in God’s ministry, they should be able to show the proof. The proof — Paul argues — is not just your pedigree, or your accomplishments. Paul checks all those boxes. But then he goes on to talk about all the things he has suffered because of his commitment to Christ. Paul does not blame the devil for those tough times. He wears them as a badge of honor. They are proof of his commitment both to Christ and to the people he serves in Christ’s name.
LORD, forgive us for complaining of the tough times we face when serving you. Show us how to do the math, and be thankful for the chance to witness to your worthiness.