Healthy Boasting (1 Cor 1:29-31)

That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:29–31, AV)

Years ago, I was teaching an adult Sunday school class in a small church. The topic was dealing with pride and boasting. I began the class with a parody of a personal testimony. I began by telling all of my great accomplishments and then how great I was because I had done all these things. I went on like this for about five minutes and then stopped. When I had finished, I asked the group what they thought of my testimony. One of the more outspoken men in the class said, “I wanted to stand up and punch you in the mouth!” (Perhaps I went a bit too far with the parody.) Well, I went on to explain how it was a parody to make a point about the ugliness of boasting.

Boasting is the way of the world. Men and women like to brag on themselves. One of the things that has always made me cringe was hearing someone say that through their witnessing, “I saved that person.” The reason, only Christ is the Savior. I have noticed that in Christian circles there often is a lot of boasting. We had a testimony time at church one Sunday where people were to give a two-minute testimony of what God had done in their lives. One man spent about seven-minutes talking primarily about himself.

Regarding the issue of the world’s ways in boasting, Paul wrote referred to Jeremiah. Here is the full quote from the prophet.

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:23–24, AV)

God’s people were not to “glory,” meaning to boast in themselves, but rather in the Lord who works all blessings for those whom He has called by His grace. This is an issue of proper worship. To boast in self is the antithesis of true worship. In his writing to the Corinthians, Paul indicated that believers are to boast in the Lord because by His grace the believer is “in Christ Jesus.” In Christ, every believer is touched by the wisdom from God. Every believer has been counted as righteous, clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Believers have also been separated from sin and separated unto God for His most glorious purposes. Moreover, all believers have be redeemed from sin and its power.

We as believers ought to be boasting more than any of the people the world system sees as prominent. We have much of which to boast. However, make sure our boasting is in the Lord and not in self. All boasting in self is self-glorification, the antithesis of true worship. Let us worship God by boasting in Him alone.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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