Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good Boasting

“So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18 CSB)

The opposite of humility is pride, and pride is the source for boasting. Commending oneself or bragging on oneself has no basis in reality. Some believe that if you can do what you brag about being able to do, it is not bragging but just stating a reality. Athletes sometimes engage in such bragging. In some circles they call it “trash talking,” or talking about how you’re better than your opponent and will defeat him or her easily. Ego, self-centeredness, and pride are the raw source for all this.

Anyway you look at it, boasting in this way is short-lived. Records do not stand for long. Championships do not stand for long. Someone stronger comes along, and then someone replaces them later on. So such boasting is truly pointless. Entertaining maybe, but still pointless.

Paul reminds us that any boasting that has genuine sustainability is boasting directed toward the Lord. If you want to boast about something that has an eternal championship ring to it, then boast in the accomplishments of the Lord. Commending yourself is useless. Being commended by the Lord, however, now that’s something.

Lord, Today help us do all of our boasting on the basis of who You are and what You have done rather than on anything we think we may have done. Amen.

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