This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)
There are some people who are quick to speak of their achievements, or those of their children. There is no problem being proud of these things; it is only when it turns into boasting that issues arise.
A dictionary definition of boasting is to:
talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s (or others’) achievements, possessions, or abilities.
Notice that three reasons for boasting are mentioned in the verses above from Jeremiah 9:
In response God tells us that if we must boast, then we should boast about having the understanding to know him. In other words we are not just clever, but clever enough to know him. A different take on cleverness! In response to the three ‘worldly’ reasons for boasting, Jeremiah give us three different reasons for boasting:
Why? Because God says ‘… in these I delight’.
So by all means take pride in your achievements, or of those whom you love, but if you want to boast then make kindness, justice and righteousness your goal.
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