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Braggadocio, In Christ Only

If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord. When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. Paul, circa 57 AD, 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 NLT

You’ve seen the bumper sticker: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” It’s a cynical statement about our materialistic culture. But there’s another layer of insight concerning competition. Down to one’s dying day, life is all about comparisons and competitions. About pride and braggadocio.

The apostle Paul loved to boast – but only about Christ and never about himself. He wrote about the subject in his second letter to the Corinthians where false teachers and apostles had been boasting about their accomplishments (2 Corinthians 10). Paul refused to be drawn into such meaningless debates. Where people all in the same boat – dead in sin and redeemed only by the grace of God – began to boast about their greatness, Paul chose to focus on two things: carrying out his apostolic mission and focusing on the greatness of Christ.

Paul’s blandishment against braggadocio echos the Word of God given to the Prophet Jeremiah some 600 years earlier: “This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Jeremiah 9:24 NLT

Take it from God. If you are ever tempted to feel large or small based on comparisons with others, shift your focus to Christ and boast in Him.

Reverence and boasting cannot be found on the same platform. A. W. Tozer (1897 – 1963)

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