Boasting in the Lord

Read: 2 Corinthians 10:1-6, 13-18

Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. (v. 17)

The wife of a well-known, brilliant professor once recounted to me a conversation with her future mother-in-law, who gave this advice: “Make sure you don’t compliment him too much. It will go to his head, and he’s already too boastful.”

In Christian circles, “boasting” is almost universally discouraged, whether as an expression of overinflated pride or a cover for deep insecurity. The apostle Paul modeled great humility in his ministry and encouraged the same. Yet in 2 Corinthians 10, he actually endorses “boasting.” In our age of social media posing and political posturing, how can we faithfully apply this part of Paul’s teaching?

We must pay close attention to whom and to what Paul urges us to boast about. Whereas boasting is normally pursued to promote oneself, he reminds Christians of their primary duty to promote Jesus Christ. Paul reassures us that Christ himself will provide any commendation we may need, revealing himself through us and favorably inclining others toward us (v. 18). Finally, Paul reiterates that our remarkable accomplishments are the product not of our ability but God’s power (v. 4). In that sense, we should be proud, and even boast—not of what we’ve done, but of what God is able to do through such humble vessels as you and me. As we celebrate union with Christ, may we also boast in his accomplishments.

As you pray, praise God for his great work in and through you.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon

Ben Van Arragon is the Minister of Worship and Leadership at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He preaches and teaches the Bible in church, online, and anywhere else he has the opportunity.

This entry is part 13 of 15 in the series 2 Corinthians: Shining through the Cracks