I think the odd thing about today’s reading (2 Corinthians 11) is how Paul (the author) answers the question, “Am I a servant of Christ? Am I more a servant of Christ than others?” If you asked someone today, “Have you served Jesus?,” what would they say? You’d probably hear about how long they’ve been involved in ministry. “I’ve been serving faithfully in the toddler’s class for 13 years.” You’d probably hear about the fruit of their ministry. “I’ve grown this church from 120 to 230 members.”
But with Paul, the only thing he puts on his resume is the suffering he’s done for Jesus. I wonder why he doesn’t mention anything else. And I wonder why he feels like it’s suffering that proves you really serve Christ.
And … I wonder why probably none of us would even consider putting suffering on our list. And why we don’t think our complete lack of suffering is an issue. I realize that our culture is different today (we don’t get flogged for sharing the gospel), but … is it more than just that?