Summary: Apparently trying to humble the Corinthians, Paul makes a series of contrasts.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
A well-known Christian businessman who was visiting a church was asked to give his testimony. He said, "I have a fine family, a large house, a successful business, and a good reputation. I have plenty of money so I can support some Christian ministries very generously. Many organizations want me on their board of directors. I have good health and almost unlimited opportunities. What more could I ask from God?" As he paused for effect, a voice shouted from the back of the auditorium, "How about asking Him for a good dose of humility?" (Source unknown)
2. He is to be a humble example (vv. 6-13).
The Corinthians were wise in their own eyes, but they were actually fools in the sight of God. Paul asks three pointed questions that puncture the bubble of the Corinthian pride (v. 7).
c. For who maketh thee to differ? In other words, who regards you as superior? There was no room for pride and self-conceit when everything they were they owed to God.
d. What has thou received? Everything they had, including their gifts in the ministry were given them by God. To take any credit personally was an insult to Him.
e. Why doest thou glory? John the Baptist said "a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven...He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:27,30).
Apparently trying to humble the Corinthians, Paul makes a series of contrasts. He said, “You are trying to act as kings when we are prisoners subject to death” (vv. 7-9). He said, “you want people to see you as strong men when in ourselves we are weak” (v. 10). Finally He said, “you want the honor that comes from men instead of being associated with us and ready for suffering” (vv. 11-13).
Lord, help me not to try to take the credit for things you do for me, give to me or allow me to accomplish.