Did you know the Apostle Paul boasted?
If you’re like me you’re most likely thinking, “I thought we weren’t supposed to boast otherwise we’re being proud.”
I’ve felt the same way but then I began to notice how often boasting is referred to in the Bible–and by the Apostle Paul no less! Just take a look at some of these:
“Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God.” Romans 15:17
“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.” Galatians 6:4
“But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14.
“But He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commands.” Second Corinthians 10:17-18
Are you surprised like I was?
Here are some of my thoughts about those verses (and others):
It’s okay to boast, as long as the boasting is based in God’s work through us.
Giving God glory in His working through us is not pride; it’s true humility.
Boasting should be only about God’s work.
We shouldn’t base our humility in comparing ourselves to others. The basis for humility is not whether we’ve done better or more poorly than another, but in God using us even though we are broken vessels.
Humility and legitimate boasting can get excited about what God is doing! We can say (humbly), “I have really grown in my ability to trust God in….” As long as we’re acknowledging God is doing the work through us, that’s appropriate.
Our knowledge of God’s work must be based in His grace. Grace means I don’t deserve to be used by God to accomplish His purposes. Grace means that because of God’s mercy and generosity, He chooses to use each of us–and He doesn’t even need us! That’s something great to boast about.