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!