Do you like to boast? Most of the time, our parents, our teachers and our coaches train us not to boast. It’s not a very attractive trait, we’re told. It’s a sure tale sign of pride in the heart. And pride comes before a fall.
But interestingly, unexpectedly even, we get different advice from the Lord. Go ahead and boast, he tells us. It’s good to boast. It’s wise to boast, even.
That is, as long as you’re boasting about the right thing. And the right thing is the Lord.
Boast all you want about the fact that God has given you wisdom and understanding. Brag continuously about the Lord’s kindness, mercy, and grace. Crow loud and long about the justice and righteousness that Jesus brings, because he lived a perfect life in our place. And then he gives us that perfection and righteousness as the gift that makes us eligible for heaven.
Boast, in other words, in the things that bring joy and delight to God — all of which, by the way, are things that lead to your redemption and salvation.
But don’t boast about the things that bring delight to you: Your human wisdom. Your personal strength. Your fat investment portfolio.
The key insight for all of us is this. God is the Giver of all that we have. God is the reason — the only possible reason — for any boasting or bragging we might do.
Because God can always, always, back up the boasts we make about him.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NIV).
Lord, forgive me for the times when I have thought that I was “all that.” Remind me that you are the only thing I have to boast about. And help me find total joy in bragging about you, and the confidence that you will back those boasts up.
Our Bible reading for Monday, October 5, is Jeremiah 9:17 – 11:17, Colossians 1:24 – 2:5 and Psalm 117:1-2.
Header image based on "About Bragging" by Celestine Chua, CC By 2.0