Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NIV
Paul was an apostle of Christ, called to take the gospel into the Gentile world. The mark he made on history, especially the history of the church, is hard to over-estimate. Not only did he establish many churches among the Gentiles, but he also wrote much of the collection that has come to be known as the New Testament. He was truly a giant of the faith.
Competence from God
And that is what makes this passage so meaningful to me. His competence came, not from his own inherent abilities, but from God. It is doubtlessly true that Paul had many native abilities that God used in the work he was called to do. But he was careful to recognize that it was Christ working in and through him, that enabled his effective service.
I am no apostle Paul, founding churches and writing Scripture. I am a simple follower of Jesus. But I can echo Paul’s thoughts here. I am not competent to claim anything for myself. Any competency I have in serving the Lord comes from him. I can claim no credit for what he does through me. But I can rejoice that he has entrusted, and enabled, me to serve within his kingdom.