Have you ever heard someone say “I’ve got nothing to prove.” They are saying that they do not need to prove themselves to others, they know who they are and they are comfortable with that. They are comfortable in their own skin, and they are not out to impress anyone.
This however is not the attitude that Paul had concerning his ministry. He says in II Corinthians 6:3-10 “3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in mnecessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, oin labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
As the minister of Christ we do have something to prove. The word translated approve is used sixteen times in the NT, seven of those times are used here in 2 Corinthians. The word is translated in this book as commend or to approve. One thing that Paul is dealing with here is that there are those who are calling into question Paul’s Apostleship. Paul is saying “Look at my life. My life has approved (or commended) me as a minister of God.” We must commend or approve ourselves as ministers of God in everything we do, say, experience, feel, and react. On the outside and on the inside we must daily, and constantly be commending ourselves as ministers of God.
Paul lived in such a way as God’s minister that he tells the Philippians in Philippians 3:17 for them to “be followers together of me.” To the Thessalonians he said in I Thessalonians 1:5-6 that they knew “what manner of men we were among you for your sake,” and his example lead them to become “followers of us, and of the Lord.” He goes on to say in chapter 2 of I Thessalonians verse 10 that the believers there were “witnesses” of how Paul lived a holy, just, and unblameable among them.
Paul knew the greatest defense of his ministry and position as God’s minister was not him yelling at people and telling them that they need to respect him as “God’s man.” The greatest defense was his life. He didn’t have to ask people “Do you not know who I am?” They simple had to observe him and it would be very evident in a short time who Paul was. In every day and in every way his life testified that he was indeed God’s man, and minister of the Gospel.