But 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. (Gal 6:14)
To boast is to speak with excessive pride or vanity, especially about oneself. We’ll hear all sorts of self-centered boasts this week–boasts of intellect, education, corporate advancement, wealth, square footage, RPMs, vacations, exclusive perks, open doors of opportunity, family heritage, past accomplishments, and personal achievements. It is tantalizingly easy to attach one’s self-worth to these earth-bound things. And when I allow such an attachment to be made, what do I do? I boast.
- When my identity comes to revolve around my intellect, I will boast in my intellect.
- When my ego is caught in the gravitational pull of my education, I will boast in my education.
- When my conceitedness is tied to my corporate advancement, I will boast in my corporate advancements.
- When my sense of worth is coupled with my wealth, I will boast in my wealth.
- When my pride is yoked to my perks, my past, and my personal achievements, is it any wonder that I will boast in MYself?
- In short, when my delight depends on my outward circumstances, I will shortsightedly boast in the dumbest of things.
On what basis are such boasts shortsighted and foolish? I was created to glorify the Lord God Almighty … but look at my shiny car! I have willfully rebelled against the King of the universe … but check out the photos of my exotic vacation! I am guilty of cosmic treason and justly deserving of death … but let me tell you about how important I am at work.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
The life-changing good news is that Jesus died so that we might have something truly substantial in which to boast. In the language of Paul from Galatians 6:14:
But 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.
To those whose minds are still firmly fixed on the things of this world, this encouragement is foolishness. But to those of us whose minds are set on things above, this is solid rock on which to build our identities, our present opportunities, and our eternal hopes.
When I die to the world, I can finally live “to God.”
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
When the fleeting world has been crucified to me, I find freedom to live for the eternal One who matters most.
Jesus died to give me this opportunity.
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