7 You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. 8 So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. 9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthian 10:7-11-18
Obviously there had been quite a bit of discussion about Paul’s previous letter to the Corinthians. Paul didn’t seem to like idle chit chat in his letters, and he was probably the same in person. His ultimate goal, however, was to build up the church and to preach where the Gospel had not been preached yet. He said that very thing in this passage.
Good leaders weigh what their critics say about them, but they don’t let it deter them from their mission. Leaders know that they are not infallible and can (and should) be corrected, especially as it pertained to doctrine.
I think the bottom line here is, be careful when criticizing your spiritual leaders. Their task is difficult enough without needless complaints and whining over mannerisms and minor issues. If doctrine is involved, a good leader will want to know if it seems like he’s straying or is in error.
Pray for those over you in the Lord by name. Pray for their families. We don’t quite understand the spiritual attacks they are under constantly.