Love does not vaunt itself. Love does not go around puffing itself up, trying to get others to notice it. When we boast in ourselves, we are showing our poor judgment. We boast to make ourselves look better, often at the expense of others. However, there are some things that the Bible commands us to boast in. Not surprisingly, none of them have to do with us. Here are some things we can boast in without vaunting in ourselves.
“Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. They have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stood upright.” (Psalms 20:7-8)If we are to boast, we should not boast in ourselves nor the things in which we trust, but rather we should boast in the Lord. All that we have, and all that we are, are from the Lord. Our strength, our victories, our wealth, and even our faith are all gifts from God. Even our relationship with God was made possible by His own sacrifice on the cross. He Himself died that we might be forgiven of our sins and reconciled back to the Father. To boast in ourselves is to forget that all these things came from God. In our boasting we take credit for what God Himself has dome. We should rather boast in God and give Him praise and honor for all that He has done for us.
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)As Christians, it can be tempting to boast in the many good works that we have done for the Lord. We boast about how much time we spend in prayer, how often we read our Bibles, how many scripture we have memorized, how many people we have shared the Gospel with, and so on. But all these things are but the periphery of what it means to be a Christian. Being a Christian is, above all else, about having a relationship with Jesus. When we boast about what we have done we take away from the glory and honor that is due to our Lord. We also turn the attention of others onto ourselves and away from God. We should be directing others to see the Lord and not us. We should be boasting about knowing God not just about doing things for Him. For we can do many things for God but it is out of our relationship with Him that we will be changed. Apart from a relationship with Jesus, nothing else we do really matters.
“If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.” (2 Corinthians 11:30)Paul understood that it was in his weakness that God’s strength was shown to be strong. Paul said, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) To boast in our weakness is so contrary to the ways of the world. In the world we boast about how much better, stronger, richer, and smarter we are then anyone else, but in the Kingdom we boast about our own weaknesses because we know that it is in our weakness that God will show Himself strong. I wonder how often we fail to receive God’s healing in our lives because we are too busy denying our weakness and boasting about our supposed strengths? When we boast about our strengths then we are telling others that they too must be strong for God to move in their lives. However, when we boast in our weaknesses and in how God has worked through them to become strong within us, then we convey to others that even if they are weak, and especially if they are weak, then God can work through them as well. When we boast in our weaknesses then we set others free to be weak and to experience the power of God in their lives as well.