Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, st. 2, Isaac Watts, 1707.
But [God] said to [St. Paul], “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
1 Corinthians 12:9
Boasting of Myself
When I was younger, I felt the need to boast about myself in order to get people to pay attention to me.
Who am I kidding? I still do it, to some extent, now that I’m older (and presumably wiser).
Boasting can take many forms.
I can drop names of famous people that I know or have met.
There are times that I tell people about the places that I’ve been – important places or places where important things have happened.
I even boast about the things I’ve accomplished like writing a book, starring in an internet video, or being a radio announcer in a pretty large market.
I deliberately didn’t share specific details because I don’t want to appear to be boasting even now!
The Lesson of St. Paul’s Boasting
Saint Paul shares the reasons that he could boast as an Apostle. He was “taken” to heaven to see wonderful things and hear incredible messages.
He met Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road.
And he was called by Christ to be an Apostle.
While he mentions these criteria for his ministry, he makes it clear that he boasts in none of them.
He only “boasts” in his weakness.
The reason for this is because Paul always wanted people’s focus and attention on Jesus Christ.
That reason convicts me.
I boasted so much when I was younger. Yet, I still catch myself doing it today.
But I hope it isn’t nearly as often as I did in the past!
How do I live with myself, being a convicted boaster?
The words of St. Paul help me tremendously. Maybe they will help you, too!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” [says Christ]. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I see myself as weak. As a sinner, I am weak in the eyes of the world. But in the eyes of God I am strong because he sees the power of Christ in me.
When I was baptized, the power of Christ was given. Through God’s Word and the Sacrament of Holy Communion, I continue to receive power.
Even though I am still weak, still a sinner, the power of Christ is in me. I can conquer my boasting and anything else because Christ conquered sin, death, and the power of the devil for me!
He will do the same for you!
Heavenly Father, I am not worthy of your love. But you love me anyway! Forgive me when I boast in myself and my accomplishments. Give me your Holy Spirit that I may only boast in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2018 True Men Ministries