2 Corinth. 11: “Paul’s Resume”

I can remember getting a phone call in August of 2011 from a District Superintendent requesting permission to distribute my resume. Knowing that Caley and I both felt God was preparing us to transition since October 2010, I agreed believing this was of God and not man. There was only one problem… I hadn’t touched my resume since November of 2003! Since I was on vacation at the time I did my best to update my resume and send it the District Superintendent. I can tell you one thing, it was awful! Like really bad. Not that the things on it were bad, but it wasn’t well thought out and most importantly prayed over. Working on your resume can be a very humbling things. If you’re not careful it can really push the boundaries of your pride, especially its you talking and bragging about you.

Have you ever wondered what the resume of famous people would look like? I would love to see Santa Clause’s resume. Another resume that would be fun to read is Darth Vader’s or even Jesus’ resume would be interesting. I’m sure there’s lots of resumes out there claiming the applicant walks on water… well, at least Jesus’ would be telling the truth. But what about Paul’s resume?

2 Corinthians 11 is in effect Paul’s resume. Now, he was listing off all his accomplishments in a pretty sarcastic tone, but they were still his accomplishments none the less. Before we get into his resume, I want you to look at how Paul denotes the differences between himself and the so called “super apostles.”

2 Corinthians 11:21-23 (NLT)  21 But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 

But then he hits them with verse 23: 23a Are they servants of Christ? This statement in verse 23 is what Paul would consider the major delineation between them and him. It would lead us to believe that according to Paul, you’re not a true apostle until you’ve suffered in the name of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 11:23b- (NLT) 23b  I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

So here’s the challenge: What does your spiritual resume look like? I heard the author Brennan Manning say once, “When we get to heaven, God won’t count our jewels, he will count the scars suffered in His name.”

I’m constantly reminded of the words of Luke in Acts 5:

40 …They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go.

41 The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. 42 And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”