Proper Boasting

Journal Entry // August 15, 2022

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 11:30

What does a life of humility look like? It is not boastful or proud but rejoices in weakness. Doesn’t this seem so set against our normal way of thinking and acting? This is antithetical to all the world teaches and tells us about how to live a happy life. It completely goes against the standard that is set forth as the pattern for success in this world. Everyone is expected to lift themselves up and put their best foot forward. We are expected to boast and revel in our strengths and to hide our weakness. More than that, we are expected to hide our weaknesses to the point of even denying them or spending time working on making them stronger. Then Paul tells us that if he must boast, if he is required to boast that he will only boast in those things that expose his weakness. He will only boast of those things that the world finds repugnant. Why? Simply because the power of Christ is made perfect in our weakness. Our weakness is our strength. Our weakness is the key to humility leading to loving obedience to Christ in all things.

It is difficult to boast in your weakness to a world that hates weakness. I have had a difficult time thinking through what this practically means in my day-to-day life. Does it mean that I go around boasting about my failures and inabilities? Does it mean that I announce with pride the lowliness of my heart? I think what Paul has in mind here is a boasting in the power of Christ at work in me. I do not boast in the actual weakness of my body, but in the opportunity that arises from this weakness to see the hand of God at work in and through me. This is the humble life that is worth boasting about. A life that is so completely wrapped up in the things of God, that I am only looking for opportunities to engage with Christ in the work of the Kingdom. I am working to rid myself of pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness so that I may simply be a vessel of humility that demonstrates the love and grace and mercy of my Savior at every moment.

I am boasting in my weakness when I am simply pointing everyone to the work of Jesus in my daily life. I need to take the focus off me and put it squarely on Jesus alone. There is no other boasting. There is only boasting in my humble estate of serving Christ and him working in and through me. There is nothing else. Even now I think too highly of myself. I am tempted to trust in my own knowledge and wisdom. I am too quick to accept the praise of man. I am too quick to seek the praise of man. No, I simply need this gentle humility that Christ is working in me every single day. I need to train my mind to see my complete dependence upon Christ alone for everything. He is God, I am his child. I need to continually remind myself that I can fully trust in Jesus for everything. Not just a specific moment in time, but at all times. Not just when a crisis hits, but when I am alone with my thoughts in solitude. Every moment belongs to the Lord and I want to continually work to see my weakness and need for Christ in this life. He alone is my everything. 

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