IF YOU’RE GONNA BOAST

Most of us learned when we were young that we shouldn’t boast because bragging isn’t polite and doesn’t make us look good. As a matter of fact, we now know it turns others off because when people around us boast it turns us off. But you may be surprised to learn that God approves of a certain line of boasting.

In Jeremiah 9:23 and 24 the Bible tells us “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.” God says if you are gonna boast, boast about Me and that you know and understand Me.

It seems obvious to me that one of the ways Christians boast about God is through worship. For example, of the many places in the book of Psalms that invite worship, Psalm 89:15 affirms to God, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you.” David gives us an example of acclaiming the LORD when he praised the LORD in the presence of the people in I Chronicles 29:11, “Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” Part of what we do when we gather for worship is boast to one another about God through our singing and testimony.

Now when we boast that we have the understanding to know God there are a couple of things we must avoid.  One is that we never suggest that we completely and perfectly understand and know God. I love the story of the little boy who was intently drawing a picture in his Sunday school class.  His teacher asked him, “Johnny, what are you drawing?” To which he replied, ” A picture of God.” She then noted, “Johnny, that’s silly; nobody knows what God looks like.”  Without looking up he declared, “When I’m finished here they will.”  Sometimes we come across like Johnny; as though we understand and know God better than we really do.

The other thing I think we must not do in boasting about our understanding and knowledge of God is to intimate that we know God but but others have no clue. Too many Christians, especially leaders and long time believers who have a lot of Bible knowledge come across as though they have a handle on God and those who disagree with them on something just don’t get it. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t have convictions about what we believe, I’m cautioning us to watch our attitude and how we come across to others when we boast about the LORD.

I hope if you are going to boast, you will boast about the LORD. Can you do it without overdoing it?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40518938@N00/2681502976″>Male Peacock With Feathers In Full Strut</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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5 thoughts on “IF YOU’RE GONNA BOAST

  1. Carlie Simon, “Your so vain I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you?” A early 70’s song reminded us what we could be.

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  2. “His ways are not our ways,” comes to mind here. We can never fully understand our omnipotent God and shouldn’t pretend we have the answers. In my opinion, the only thing we can boast about is that Jesus came to earth to be a human sacrifice for our sins so that means God’s love for us is more than we can comprehend. Any parents out there willing to sacrifice their son?

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