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Boasting: Is It Ever Necessary?

Boasting, by definition, is to talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions or abilities. In 1 Kings 20:11 Ahab, the king of Israel, was arguing with the king of Syria before a battle, and finished the argument with: “Tell him, ‘Let not him who straps on his armour boast himself as he who takes it off.’” What Ahab means here is it is foolish to boast beforehand of any day, since we do not know what it will bring forth (Pro. 27:1) Jesus teaches also in Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

Swapping out boasting for humbleness

As Christians one of the central characteristics to become Christ-like that we should have is to be humble. Philippians 2:7-8 “…but [Jesus] emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

We will never be able to measure up to the perfect example of Christ, however we can try through following Paul’s teaching in Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Next time, instead of boasting about material, temporary things of this world, try boasting in the goodness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Boasting in the cross

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:31)

We are on this earth for a short time. Psalm 144:4 says “Man is like a breath, his days are like a passing shadow.” We should use this time wisely to boast in Christ and all that he has done and continues to do for us, so that our friends and colleagues – or even strangers – might know the one who became the substitute for our sins and the bridge to our God in heaven.

In his hymn How Deep the Father’s Love For Us, Stuart Townsend wrote:

I will not boast in anything,
no gifts, no power, no wisdom
but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.

Next time you sing it, will you mean it?

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