"Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord."
In the hedonistic culture of the world, self-exaltation is everywhere. It has always existed since the fall of man. But since the creation of mass media, it seems more prevalent now more than ever. It is not uncommon to hear a great athlete boast about his abilities, a famous actress brag about her beauty, or a politician brag about the great things that he has done for his constituents. As sinners, we desire nothing more than to bring glory to ourselves and away from God. We do this subconsciously because we have been born into sin. It is something that does not need to be learned.
It is a sin to boast in our own abilities and possessions because it is God who gave us these things. While we think we ourselves are the ones solely responsible for creating our own wealth, might, and wisdom, it is the Lord who has actually granted us these abilities. Even when the Lord has blessed us, we still do not give Him the glory. Yet He is still merciful as to not take these blessings away. He still allows the sun to shine on the ungodly.
While the Lord’s people should not be boastful in material possessions, wisdom, or health, there is something that we can boast in. We can be boastful in the Lord and His attributes. We can take delight in and be proud of the Lord’s enduring love, justice, and righteousness. We can take pride in the fact that our God is one who is willing to forgive our sins, even when we continually sin against Him. We can be proud that our Lord has promised to never leave His people. We can take pride in the fact that God’s justice will and has prevailed. And we can boast about the righteousness of our Lord and His willingness to die for unworthy sinners. As believers, we should strive to cultivate these altruistic attributes in our own lives, while giving God the ultimate glory and honor. Boasting in the Lord brings glory and honor to Him. It is easy to boast in our own abilities, but it takes true humility to bring the Lord the glory and honor that He deserves. Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14). Christ is the author and leader of our faith. Christians should be proud and thankful for Christ’s sacrifice of Himself for them. Boasting in Christ brings Him the ultimate glory, and there is nothing evil in that.Believers should desire to see the entire world recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior. We should pray that all the nations of the earth forsake their own selfish pursuits toward false holiness, humbly understanding their own weakness, depravity, and inability, and reveling in the one who brings true holiness and salvation.