Our culture is really into boasting and bragging about our accomplishments. Whether it be fancy résumés, lofty sounding credentials, status symbol luxury cars, or casual name dropping, we really like showing off our success and importance.
But this is no new thing.
Ancient rulers seemed to have an elite competition of building the biggest palaces, throwing the largest parties, and financing the most elaborate building projects. They definitely left their mark on history, from the colossal pyramids in Egypt to the architectural masterpieces in Rome. While the king, ruler, and emperor have long faded from human memory, their massive structures attest to their wealth, extravagance, arrogance, and desire to show the world their power and might.
On the contrary, as Christians, we are called to live counter-cultural lives. If we must boast, we should not boast in the things that we have done or accomplishments we’ve made, but rather in our weakness. Paul gave us a wonderful example of this when he wrote the Corinthians:
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.”
~II Corinthians 11:30-31
Next week, we’ll dive into some of the weaknesses Paul struggled with on a daily basis. While we mainly read about the strong, bold man Paul was, there was a side of him that was exposed, weak, and vulnerable--an area in his life that had to constantly rely upon God’s strength to get him through. But he didn’t let his weaknesses stop him! Nor did he give in to Satan’s temptations and taunts. Instead, he remained faithful to the work God placed before him, and when necessary, he was willing to boast in his weaknesses. The bold Apostle and leader of the early Christian church was not afraid to share things that revealed his weakness. Rather he was willingly ready to boast in them.
What about us? Are we trying to hide our weak side from those watching? In a culture that is always putting their best foot forward, it’s hard not to. However, we are called to boast in our weaknesses, not our strengths. Why? So that God’s amazing power can be shown through us.
But does this mean you have to tell everyone you meet about the struggles you’re having lately or the chronic health problem you deal with? Does it mean you should post relationship issues and spiritual battles you’re facing on social media?
No! Boasting in weakness means that when asked point blank how you could accomplish what you have or what makes you special, you give answers that reveal your own weakness in order to glorify God’s might. It’s another way of giving God glory and pointing all praise and honor back to Him. We are nothing in and of ourselves, but by God’s power and Holy Spirit working through us, we can take on the world.
So may we never forget and may those around us never be ignorant to whom all the praise, glory, honor, and power belongs!
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
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