There’s an old joke about the man whose town presented him a medal for humility but then took it away when he wore it. We can all relate to the idea of boasting. From the time we’re little, it’s “I can run faster, jump higher, or hold my breath longer.” Then we graduate to adult boasting like, “I make more money, drive a nicer car, have a bigger home” etc, etc, etc. Mankind never runs out of things about which to boast. Yet God has a clear opinion of this kind of behavior.
“Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3
But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. James 4:16
It would be easy to come to the conclusion that all boasting is forbidden by God and should, therefore, not be part of the life of a Christ-follower… and you’d be half right.
We see prideful boasting condemned in Jeremiah 9:23 when it says,
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;”
When I came across this verse, I looked up the word “boast” in the original Hebrew and discovered it means “to glory in.” And that makes sense – the verse forbids our prideful boasts about what we know (wisdom), what we can do (might), or what we have (riches). It’s important to note that it doesn’t say we shouldn’t be wise, mighty, or rich, just that we shouldn’t boast about it and glory in it. But, then, the next verse gives us an interesting counter command,
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 9:24
God is making it clear that there is boasting that is good, in fact He commands it. We, as Christ-followers, have a relationship with God Himself based upon His exercise of –
First: Lovingkindness (His grace and mercy towards us for no other reason that He loves us), Secondly: Justice (there is a required penalty of death because of our sins – therefore God provides for that by justly offering a sinless Jesus to die in order to pay the penalty of our sin.) And, lastly: The fact that God wants to exercise His righteous acts right here on earth through each person who …“knows and understands Him.”
It becomes clear that God has a boast for every Christian. This boasting in God is found all through scriptures,
Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. Psalm 20:7
My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. Psalm 34:2
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Hebrews 3:6
This brings me to the idea behind the title for this article. We boost our boast in Christ by stopping to consider, praise, and glory in all that God has done for us in Jeremiah 9:24. He loved us. There wasn’t a thing we could do to earn that love, or deserve that love. This kindness was extended totally on the basis of His love. Then God allowed His only Son to die on the cross that we could become His righteousness through Christ’s sacrificial act.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Every believer can go through his or her life acting on behalf of Christ in righteous actions designed to give God exclusive praise and glory. When it’s all because of Him there is nothing for us to boast about our own strengths or actions… no… it’s all because of Jesus.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36
Meditating on what God has done for you in grace, mercy, salvation, and fruitful use will help you – boost your boast.
Think about it…