Boasting in the Cross

By | September 19, 2006

Most of man’s boasting is worldly boasting. Look at my car! I got a 1580 on my SATs… That year I received a 5% raise… Look at my beautiful family…

How often I forget that boasting in what I do and what I possess without giving the glory to God is improper! Paul, the servant of Christ Jesus (), asks: “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” ()

As image bearers of God, we should be pointing people to God’s glory, not our own. Anything short of this is foolishness, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. –

This passage in James often describes me. For me, I may not outrightly boast about my past. My tendency towards selfish boasting and self-glorification is more subtle than that. I resist boasting because I reason that I haven’t achieved a boast worthy status yet. I reason that after I add a few more things to my resume, one day, I can let others know that I am capable and worthy of praise.

Do I not realize, it is God who works in me to will and to do according to his good pleasure?

The solution for my desires for praise is not abandoning all my work and stopping my progress in achievement. The solution is to repent of my sin and do all that I do for the glory of God. The truth is, our lives will soon be past and only what is done for Christ will last. Therefore, I should work as to the Lord, and not unto men. My boast should be this: I am the chief of sinners… but Christ, he is completing his work in me. ()

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. –


1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: (ESV)


For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? (ESV)


13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (ESV)


And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)


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. (ESV)

  • ben

    ultimately pride is always our biggest sin… =(

    keep on postin PJ!