2 Corinthians 5:12…
Since “we” are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and since “we” seek only the “aim” of Christ in serving Him, we understand, (by the Spirit and by the Word of God,) we cannot judge ourselves and our service to Christ according to outward appearance, or by the normal metrics of success men employ.
There are those, Paul says, who boast in outward appearance, and it seems they are the very ones who continue to criticize Paul’s ministry because of its appearance. But Paul would rather have them boast in his faithfulness to Christ, not his appearance.
To those who think him out of his mind because of his broken down appearance, or to those who think him too lofty in his thoughts and words to be understood, Paul would have them know he is all he is for them, and he has no concern for how it appears to those who may seek to disparage his service to Christ.
While taking no notice of his vessel and focusing only upon the great Treasure his vessel contains, “we” ourselves become compelled as Paul has been to die to ourselves in sharing the message of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no greater message to be shared.
The idea of considering anyone according to their flesh is absurd, because the flesh is passing away. Only what is done for Christ will last – and whatever it takes to get the gospel message out is what is required – no matter what.
The very idea some may criticize Paul for his appearance, or for his delivery skills as he presents the message that saves lives eternally is something Paul disregards completely, and he would have us do likewise.
If anyone is in Christ, the outward appearance, the flesh, the world, the reputation, the addictions, the fallen nature – whatever – no longer matters because it is no longer present in what is accounted to the body. Jesus died for all of that. In the moment you place your faith in the Lord Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sin and for salvation, you become a new creation in God’s eyes – even if men cannot see it. The past is exactly that. The past. It is no longer any sort of frame of reference except as a reminder of all Christ has saved you from in making you new.
The person who existed prior to the transforming presence of the life of Christ in the born-again experience no longer exists. This ministry of reconciliation between God and man is not an external exchange, but an internal one which assures eternal life in Christ. Christ paid a very high price to be made your sin in exchange for your righteousness in Christ.