Read 2 Corinthians 10.
Chapters 8-9 were about the collection Paul was coming to receive from the Thessalonians. He was concerned, though, that during his visit, some tough love would be required as well (vv. 1-2).
It is unclear who Paul was expecting to have a confrontation with, but it is clear that he wanted to avoid the confrontation, if possible, by appealing “by the humility and gentleness of Christ” (v.1) to his potential opponents.
If they did not back down, Paul promised to be bold (v. 2) in his confrontations with them. That was the opposite of what the Corinthians expected (vv. 10-11). In the past they found his letters to be strong but his real life approach to be weak (v. 10). This time he promised just the opposite (v. 11). He was confident that he had the spiritual weapons he needed to win the victory in Corinth for Christ (v. 4).
And what were those weapons? Argumentation (v. 5) and church discipline (v. 6).
When Paul says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” he is speaking of the battle of ideas, of truth claims. When he encountered false teaching, he was more than prepared to defeat their arguments with his own argumentation. He was also capable subjecting thoughts to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
What we see in the first 6 verses of this chapter is that spirituality and clear thinking and communication are not enemies but partners to the glory of God.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of teaching out there that disparages a godly use of the mind to trade it in for something more “spiritual.” To Paul, using his mind for the glory of God to rebuke and correct false teaching was a deeply spiritual act. Developing his mind was part of living to the glory of God; so was using it for the good of God’s people.
I find that a lot of Christians are not readers. We spend little time developing our minds and filling it with great content to be used by God. Some even try to set “spirituality” against the intellect as if they were enemies. But part of following Christ and maturing in him is learning to control your own thoughts as well as to refuse Satan’s. In addition to spending time daily in God’s word, be someone who regularly reads in order to be more effective in service for Christ. Join a small group and a Calvary Class and let us help you identify your weak areas and learn to grow in them.