The Following thought for the day was written by Brother Richard Morgan and provides insight and encouragement for those seeking to serve the God of Israel.
What are your accomplishments in life? This world measures us based on things like our education, career, status, and the stuff we have. Not only that, but society pressures us into measuring success based on those sorts of accomplishments.
But Jeremiah tells us this – “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” (Jer. 9:23). That’s not what the world tells us at all. Wisdom, strength, and riches are what counts. Without those, you’re nothing. So, we tend to overemphasize their importance. Here in America, the amount of fanfare given to those who graduate high school is pretty impressive. Expensive gifts, big parties, massive banners, signs, and bigger than life-size portraits of the graduate on people’s front lawns. Even more so, the prestige that goes with what college you attend. Then your career and what you can accumulate throughout your life. Kick-starting the economy is more important than people’s lives during the pandemic. Making money is the be-all and end-all. And it’s easy for us to get caught up in the game. All of us are attracted to the wonderful feeling of being applauded for our accomplishments.
But God isn’t interested in any of that stuff. Jeremiah goes on to say, “but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” (v24).
There’s nothing wrong with boasting, in the sense of the word Jeremiah uses. It’s the word halal, from which we get the word “Hallelujah.” It means praise more than the modern-day use of the word, boasting.
So, what are the praiseworthy things in our lives? Ultimately, they should be the things God values – what He finds praiseworthy – is knowing Him—being in tune with Him. Understanding and manifesting His qualities of steadfast love, justice, and righteousness.
So often in this world, we can only find success if we override steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. We end up compromising integrity and honesty to accomplish what the world expects of us. Not only is boasting about worldly things wrong, but it can also betray the fact we don’t value the things of God.
We all naturally desire things like wisdom, strength, and riches. We are rewarded in this life if we prioritize them. We are even rewarded if we exhibit them in the ecclesia. But those things should not matter to us at all. What matters is whether we are kind to one another, patient and compassionate, forgiving, and just.
It’s as Paul writes to the Corinthians – “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being[d] might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Cor. 1:26-31).
Simi Hills, CA
[post-content id=105350 shortcodes=true]
View all the thoughts in this series here…