Read 2 Corinthians 3:7-18.
Those who were attempting to steal the hearts of the Corinthian Christians away from Paul flaunted their apparent superiority to Paul. How is Paul to defend himself without falling into the same problem – self-promotion? He does so by lifting up the superiority of all who believe in Christ – “… we all … with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image.” This freedom available to every believer did not come to the Corinthians by the message or work of Paul’s opponents, but was a gift of God’s Spirit through the ministry of Paul. And so, Paul defends himself by refusing to play the superiority of game and, by playing instead, the ultimate hand, namely, the superiority of God in the life of “anyone who turns to the Lord … all.”
God my Father, I see this game played all the time in church – it’s “us” vs. “them.” It is self-promotion flying a false flag of freedom. Do drive out the “me” spirit in your people and replace it with a spirit of “we.” Ever steer us away from ourselves, Father, and guide us instead toward the true freedom found only in your Son. Remove any veil from our faces that prevents us from seeing your glory, Jesus, clearly. Make our selfish, dull minds sharp with the coming of your Spirit. Send him often and send him deep into our hearts that our faces might radiate your righteousness and glory and that of our own making. Amen.