Paul the apostle was not a shy and timid man. He knew who he was in Christ, and he lived to reach his full potential. His secret was his confidence in the word of God. He took God at his word, and he lived by faith – “faith working through love.” He loved God and God’s children, because he realized just how good God had been to him, forgiving him of all his sins, giving him the hope of heaven, and appointing him to be his representative to the Gentile world.
In his letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, “It is a small matter to me to be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is God who judges me.” If only we would let God be the judge instead of trying to be our own judges of all that is good and right. Then, he would give us all the light and revelation that we need in order to make wise choices. He would tell us what is right and wrong. He would tell us who to be friends with and who to avoid. We only have to relinquish the right to be our own judge, jury, and executioner.
You might say that Paul was confident because he feared God and he eschewed the fear of man. He, like Jesus, knew what was in man, and he refused to be impressed by man’s outward appearance. He knew that Our Father looks on the heart of man and is only moved by man’s faith in him and his humble and contrite spirit. We would do well to follow his example, fearing God alone, and imitating only those who demonstrate humility, faith, and love.
— Brad Heilhecker