I don’t hear a lot about it in the news these days, but I’m thinking the #MeToo movement continues to make a much needed difference in how casual our culture has become with sexual harassment and how pervasive the reality of sexual assault has been in areas we never imagined. So it is with some fear and trepidation that I even think about co-opting just the idea of #MeToo for this post.
But this morning I’m chewing on something Paul writes about himself and I wanna say in response, “Me too!”
Beyond the theology of Paul’s letters, beyond the implications of those beliefs on our behaviors, who hasn’t also read Paul’s story and Paul’s writings and found themselves inspired by Paul’s life? Who hasn’t wanted to be more like Paul? Who hasn’t wanted to “run the race” with discipline like he did (1Cor. 9:24-26); or “fight the good fight” they way he fought (2Tim. 4:7): or to truly be able to say that, like Paul, they gloried in their weakness so that power of Christ might be known in them (2Cor. 12:9)? And the list could go on and on. Things that Paul says about himself that I find myself whispering as I noodle on them, “Me Too!”
So here’s another “Me Too!” from this morning’s reading.
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God . . . ”
(2Corinthians 1:12 ESV)
How’s that for something to aspire towards? A clear conscience. A sober self-assessment that how we did life in the world was done free from pretence and hypocrisy, and full of purity and ingenuousness. That we were the real thing. Not the perfect thing, but the real thing. And that this wasn’t done by leveraging the wisdom of the world, or through any “fancy footwork” (MSG) on our part, but solely by the grace of God.
Just being who we are. And who we are is “in Christ.”
Being ourselves. And that’s being dead to ourselves and alive to Christ.
Sinners saved by grace. Growing in godliness as the righteousness imputed to us by the Son bears the fruit of the righteousness being developed in us through the Spirit.
No tricks. No gimmicks. Just sanctification at work. Our holy determination. His indwelling power.
For all that Paul did, for all the legacy that he left, at the end of the day, when all was said and done, he wanted to be able to say, “we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God.”
By His grace. For His glory.