2 Corinthians 10:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 10:13, NIV: We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.

2 Corinthians 10:13, ESV: But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.

2 Corinthians 10:13, KJV: But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

2 Corinthians 10:13, NASB: But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the domain which God assigned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you.

2 Corinthians 10:13, NLT: We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you.

2 Corinthians 10:13, CSB: We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned to us, which reaches even to you.

What does 2 Corinthians 10:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Opponents in Corinth are challenging Paul's authority as a genuine representative of Christ. They pointed to Paul's lack of an impressive personal attitude. Compared to secular orators, Paul was not as entertaining, dramatic, or engaging. In response, Paul replied in the previous verse that those critics were unwise to participate in competition by comparing themselves to others. Paul refused to even attempt to measure up to the standards of Greek society in this way. His mission was not to win a popularity game, which often included blatant self-promotion.

Paul declares that he and his associates will not boast beyond limits. This means they would not overtly promote themselves in order to win a popularity contest against opponents. Instead, they would only boast about what God had given them to do in their own specific area of influence. That mission was nothing more than to reach the Corinthians with the gospel of Christ. By "boasting," Paul means praising God's power in them and God's power for the Corinthians through them. Paul had used that power to reach the Corinthians with the gospel. That's the only thing that mattered to him and the only thing he would boast about.

This serves as a model for all believers: the powerful truth that God does not call those who serve Him to be "impressive" according to the world's standards. Instead, God empowers Christians to be victorious in the specific areas of influence in which He gives them work. All other comparisons and competitions become a distraction to the work that really matters.