Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 8, 2010
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 10:23-24
There is beneficial boasting and there is destructive boasting. My self-promotion and bragging are distasteful and rejected by God and people. Insecurity and fear may be the culprits, as excessive pride causes me to speak in a self-glorifying way. My talk becomes self-admiring rather than Christ adoring. In a moment of weakness, I feel like I have to prove my worth. Yet, it is in my weakness that I can point to Him and rely on His power.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Bragging can even be clothed our prayer requests, as a way to spiritualize insecurities. We can offer up prideful prayers that are meant in some strange way to impress God and our prayer partners. Ironically, prayer is the last place to parade our accomplishments. Prayer is reserved for humility, brokenness and dependence on God.
Boasting driven by spiritual pride may be the worst form of bragging. The world feeds our pride by pointing to our achievements. “Look at your education, look at your net worth, and look at your physical prowess”, they say. However a sober minded and mature person understands that any good gift comes from their Heavenly father.
He is the originator and sustainer of blessings. Your wisdom is a gift from God. Your wealth is a gift from God. Your health is a gift from God. Your only response can be gratitude marinated in humility. Then your life is appetizing and tasteful. Then any boasting only comes reluctantly, and always reflects faith in God and His character.
“My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice” (Psalm 34:2).
You are overwhelmed in gratitude for the opportunity to know God. Not only have you met Him, but He has also afforded you the occasion to know and understand Him. You trust the character of Christ. His character has become your confidence. You have grown to trust Him exclusively. Indeed, the Lord is dependable when others are undependable.
His goodness is not to be exploited, but experienced for His glory. When people ask about your peace and serenity, you can tell them it comes from God through His son the Lord Jesus Christ. This is beautiful boasting that God blesses. It is not always understood, but it is always helpful. Reflect credit off yourself and give it to Christ. He deserves it!
“Therefore, as it is written: Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31).
How can I better boast in the Lord and not in my own accomplishments?
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