1Co 2:1-2 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
2Co 10:10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”
You can see from these verses that the Apostle Paul came to Corinth exalting only Christ, not himself. He didn’t blow into town with the intent of wowing them all with his impressive oratory, doing a sales job if you will, to sell them on the gospel. Many preachers today need to repent and take heed to Paul’s words here.
But in the second passage you see how Paul’s genuine humility was turned against him by his enemies and by these fickle Corinthians who seemed all too ready to give heed to deceivers. Because Paul was humble, because his intent was to glorify only Christ and to present the gospel genuinely for the benefit of these Corinthians, his enemies turned Paul’s love into an accusation against him. “His speech is of no account.”
I suspect that most of you have shown real kindness toward those who have oppressed and abused you. How many years do victims of domestic abuse work and work and work to try to appease a wicked spouse. Clean the house. Care for the children. Give compliments. Forgive and even defend. Suffer silently. And how are these kindnesses received?
I can tell you. Sociopaths, abusers, revilers, narcissists, use these kindnesses to abuse further. They see kindness as a weakness. They see love as an opportunity to hurt even further. They accuse the victim of having false motives in doing these kindnesses. They even respond to God’s own mercies and kindnesses toward them in the same way –
Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.