The Apostle Paul was once asked, “What are your credentials?” Paul was appointed by God to found the hugely successful Church of Corinth. Corinth was a port city that incorporated beauty, wealth, and was multicultural. Within the culture of Corinth, many were formerly enslaved due to debt or war and rebuilt their lives; one was considered successful based on an individual’s ability or achievement, and this personal reconstruction allowed the society to thrive. Envision dog-eat-dog on one hand, but incredible wealth and success on the flip side by people who are determined, industrious, and entrepreneurial.
In this climate, Paul learned quickly due to his humility he was not fully accepted. The church was embarrassed by his working trade and his inability to speak well by Roman standards. Yet Paul was very accomplished as a Pharisee, an expert of the law, a rabbi, and a teacher. But he doesn’t mention those accolades. He says “You are my credentials and the evidence!” Look at what God did in your life and in your city when you received the gospel. This sounds like Jesus when He says you shall know a man by his fruit.
Friend, if I’ve learned anything, it’s this: You don’t know a man by his diploma, his money, or his car. You know a man or a woman by their fruit, the positive results of their actions. You know if they’re full of God and full of His glory, and if they bear the fruit of life. Don’t ever let your ability to see the fruit dissipate! Don’t try to give that capability up for prestige or glory from other people. Don’t give it up by being a people pleaser. Be the person that God intended you to be and let everything else go.