LEA Weekly Devotion
Mindful Matters series 2021
Week of June 6, 2021
Let them boast in this alone: That they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord of justice and of righteousness whose love is steadfast; and that I love to be this way (Jer. 9:24).
Paul was no stranger to pride. He took God’s gift of inspired Gospel proclamation seriously and proudly—and wasn’t satisfied with his level of skill and accomplishment and wanted more. He explained it this way: Each time he [God] said, “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” Now I [Paul] am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities (2 Cor. 12:9).
Notice the difference between that which fueled Paul’s boasts and the run-of-the-mill human sources of pride. All too common human pride might come from the size of a church and school campus, the won-loss stats of the basketball team, or the longevity (or youthfulness) of the staff.
People often boast of other things too—their education, ethnicity, awards, finances, grandchildren, car, garden, friends, individualism, and other kinds of identity idolatry. Boasting may be bold, but it doesn’t please God—and often aggravates rather than impresses others.
Righteous boasting comes from God, who enables His people to practice the fruits of faith (Gal. 5). Righteous pride stems from knowing God and demonstrating your complete reliance on His grace and mercy—delivered to you personally by the Holy Spirit, not because you earned it or were entitled to it, but because you needed it.
Through the sacrifice and victory of Jesus Christ, God made you righteous. You have a God-given reason and right to be proud—of your Maker, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
Mindful matters: Why do people boast?
Written by Edward Grube, LL.D.
Director of Communications
Copyright ©2021 Lutheran Education Association
Quoted Scripture: TLB®
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