Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31
At a medical education conference, when physicians speaks on any given topic, their authority to do so is usually bolstered by their credentials. Behind their written name, will appear a series of abbreviations representing their education and titles they hold. It’s not enough just to be a physician. To have the authority to tell other physicians what to do, one must do research, be the head of a teaching department at a prestigious school, and/or have multiple degrees in different fields. The more letters behind the name, the bigger the credentials, and the more impressive it is. I am a big deal. Listen to me.
At a recovery meeting, it’s the exact opposite. There, when we introduces ourselves, we often declares our life struggle. My name is Scott and I’m a recovering opiate addict. When I volunteer at the local jail, it may be impressive to tell them I’m a physician, but it buys me a lot more credibility to explain my history with addiction and to tell of what God has done for me. In any recovery meeting, the point isn’t to try and impress others with our life accomplishments. We’re not there to boast about how amazing we are. We’re there to recover. To do so, we must be honest about how badly we need God. As we recover, we must tell others what he’s done for us.
This was Paul’s message in today’s passage as he quoted from the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me (Jeremiah 9:23-34).
As long as we’re convinced of how wonderful we are, we cannot learn faith. We can believe in God, but we can’t actually rely on him while bragging of our riches, wisdom, and strength. It’s only when we realize that everything we are comes from him and that we’re nothing on our own, that we begin to truly understand how dependent we are on him for our very existence.
As Christians, the world doesn’t need to know our life accomplishments. What the world needs is our humility and honesty. Others must see that the best thing about us is God in us. If we’re going to boast, let it be to tell others what he has done for us.