Transparent Humanity

1 Corinthians 2:1-3

The great apostle Paul was just like you and me . . . he had a love for God blended with feet of clay. Great passion . . . and great weakness.

The longer I thought about this concept, the more evidence emerged from Scripture to support it. Read Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. (1 Corinthians 2:1–3)

“Aw, the guy is just being modest,” you answer. No, not when you compare these words with the popular opinion of him in his day:

His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible. (2 Corinthians 10:10)

That’s quite a shock. The man didn’t have it all together—he wasn’t perfect—and (best of all) he didn’t attempt to hide it! He admitted to his friends in Corinth that he was weak, fearful, and even trembling when he stood before them. I admire such transparency. Everybody does . . . if it’s the truth.

I forget where I found the following statement (so don’t quote me here), but it’s been in my possession for years. It vividly describes Paul as being “a man of moderate stature with curly hair and scanty, crooked legs, protruding eyeballs, large-knit eyebrows, a long nose, and thick lips.”

Wow! Certainly doesn’t sound like any one of the many smooth public idols of our day. Some even say he likely suffered from poor eyesight (Galatians 6:11); plus, some are convinced the man had a hunchback! You get the point.

Without hiding a bit of his humanity (see Romans 7 if you still struggle believing he was a cut above human), Paul openly declared his true condition. He had needs and admitted them.

He didn’t have everything in life wired perfectly . . . and he didn’t hide it. Servants are like that. Immediately, you can begin to see some of the comforting aspects of having a servant’s heart.

Paul admitted his humanity. Servants do that.

Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Christian Living and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.