“But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you” (v13). The Corinthians questioned Paul’s authority because he wasn’t a wealthy, charismatic, attractive leader. “His bodily presence is weak, and his speech is of no account” (v10). However, God had given him spiritual authority over the faith and maturity of the Corinthians (v14-15). Paul determined to do his best with the “area of influence” given to him.
We often measure ourselves by society’s approval and our own standards. But it is what God thinks of us, His approval of our work, that counts (v12, 18).