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In 1870, James W. Smith joined the U. S. Army, and because of his skin color, for four years he was harassed, isolated, court-marshaled, and finally expelled. He died of TB at the age 26. Then in 1997, 123 years later, the U.S. Army named him its first African American cadet. Since he had no living relatives, they sent his certification to his school, South Carolina State University. Like Smith, false teachers demonized the Apostle Paul at Corinth. Their aim was to get a foothold in the Corinthian church. They accused Paul of things they were guilty of—of being a fraud, tricking people to justify their lust for power and money. In response, Paul urged the people to reject these imposters. He cited evidence to show his own credentials and love for them. In 2 Corinthians Chapter 6, he said, “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. Please open your hearts to us.” When he was pressed, Paul showed how much he was willing to endure to win others for Christ and His Kingdom. We can learn a lot from Paul.

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