We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
2 Corinthians 10:12, 18 (NIV)
Paul had been having problems with certain parts of the early church in that they regarded particular apostles as being more inportant, influential and powerful than others. Paul took a humble approach in pointing out that it is really irrelevant what a person thinks of themselves; it is what God thinks that really matters. Paul is pushing his readers towards being more discerning about a person’s real motives for being in the ministry.
Paul points out the mistake people often make in comparing themselves to others. Doing this can either make us feel conceited (we are better), or feel like a failure (we are worse). Yet neither of these is the real situation. Of course, it is very tempting for us to compare ourselves to others, but, as we don’t really know what is going on in a person’s heart, it can lead to wrong conclusions.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to believe their own publicity, or they take pride in other people’s opinions of them?
God isn’t interested in comparing you with others; he is only interested in how you are living the Christian life. He doesn’t want you to allow other people’s opinions to influence you negatively. It is not about how popular you are, or how good a speaker, or teacher you might be. God want you to do his work faithfully. Only this leads to God’s commendation.