The Pervasive Foolishness of Boasting

Been thinking much about the crazy-stupid boasting we all engage in after preaching on Galatians 6:11-18 yesterday and Paul’s commitment to not boast except in the Cross of Christ … not a bad commitment, we should all make it.


Children boast to each other about how great they are not even knowing what great is

Boys boast in their video game prowess

Girls boast in their maturity, it’s always more than boys, right?

Women boast in their image 

Men boast in their strength

Pastors boast in their church numbers, books, and great vision for the future

Moms boast in their kids being more behaved than the crazy ones in the store … and the piles of laundry and meals to be cooked

Dads boast in their sons athletic achievements … and the way things used to be when they were kids

Wives boast in the sale, the money saved, the coupons clipped

Husbands boast in their home projects, tools, and productivity

Young men boast in their bike, car, or college choice

Young women boast in their beauty or boast in not seeming to care about their beauty

Businessmen boast in their profit and product

Christians boast in their service, morality, and … oh yeah, their humility

Intellectuals boast in their degrees, papers, and tenure

Anti-intellectuals boast in their common sense, experience, and determination

Laborers boast in their hours, schedule, and lack of days off

White-collar workers boast in their technology, organization, and the latest book they read to make millions

Evangelists boast in their slick presentations, decisions for Christ, and courage

Servants boast in their obscurity, compassion, and patience

The Generous boast in their sacrifice, commitment, and … well, generosity

The Thrifty boast in their budgets, shrewdness, and good stewardship

We boast in our knowledge about a subject, boast about not concerning ourselves with other subjects.  We boast in having an opinion and in not having one.  Boast about what we’ve done and what we’ve not done, and what we’ve seen and not seen.  And all our boasting is foolishness.  And in our foolishness we keep boasting while thinking we don’t think of ourselves more highly than we ought.  And to all of this, the Apostle Paul says, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).  And John Stott takes Paul’s words and says them this way …

Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you.  It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’  Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross.  All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary.  It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”

Oh the wisdom of the Proverbs (10:19), “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”  May our words match our hearts, and may our hearts walk in the shadow of the cross, looking less at self and more at Christ.

Shrink us to size oh God!

Pastor Mark

1 thought on “The Pervasive Foolishness of Boasting

  1. Hey Pastor Mark… checking in to see if you’d updated your blog :o)

    I’ll have to admit, I’m confused by this post. If I share a great deal on school supplies, groceries, clothes, etc. with someone (or a group of people) with the intent of helping them save money, then that’s being boastful? (wives sentence & thrift sentence)

    If someone tells me that they’ve had to work 10 days straight and they’re really looking forward to their day off, then that’s being boastful as well? (laborer sentence)

    I guess I just don’t see where the pride is in trying to help someone stretch their dollar, or sharing your relief with someone in finally having a day off…

    Thanks for any clarification you can give!



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