Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Corinthians 10:17
“But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD.” – 2 Corinthians 10:17
One of the things we need to be careful of is boasting in ourselves and what we do. This seems to be a recurring theme in Paul’s writings, especially in his letters to the Church of Corinth. We know in our society that it can be common place to build up ourselves to help set us apart from others who do the same thing, such as in going for a promotion, seeking a new place of employment, or in anything where we strive to show ourselves on a higher ledge than anyone else. This is the way the world thinks, but we as Christians should think differently. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 And he then goes on with “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 2:3.
As our focus verse states, if we do boast, we must boast in the Lord and not ourselves. We must always remember that God is the one who uses us to do His work. “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. Our role is to submit to Him, allowing Him to lead in the work He has for us. He is not saying He forces us, but that He leads us. He prepares us for every task set aside for us. What we need to do is submit.
Now this idea is very deep and complex, there are many directions that can be taken here which would require a separate paper to address thoroughly. What I am focusing on is that any boasting that would come from our work should be directed at God and not ourselves. Jeremiah declares “Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24. He speaks of several areas where people then boasted of themselves, and they do today. The wise and educated are not to boast of their wisdom and knowledge. Those who are strong and brave are not to boast of their might, and the rich are not to boast in their wealth. What we are to boast in has nothing to do with us, but that He understands and knows us, and that He loves us and exercises justice and righteousness, and through His Son, incredible mercy. This should be the focus of our boasting: Him and not us.
In closing, everything we have to boast about is because He made us the way we are, provided us with the experiences throughout our lives to prepare us for the work He has commissioned for us. We are who we are because of Him. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 His grace made us who we are. And in this, we should always rejoice.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.