Something to Boast About.

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness….so that Christ’s power may rest on me. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

II Corinthians 11:30, 12:9b, 10b

Throughout my life, I’ve accomplished things, achieved goals, won awards, received recognition.

Many of which I’m mighty proud. 

But nothing sours my stomach quite like watching someone who’s achieved great things draw excessive attention to herself. No one achieves great things on her own.

Consider an athlete who, after a winning touchdown, pats his chest or flaps his elbows in some sort of wild jig in the end zone while the hungry camera zooms in.

Or the Oscar-winning actress who boasts of her performance… Never mind the abundant behind-the-scenes crew required to bring a film to the screen, her agent and publicist. Or even the love and support of her family, without whom she’d be still waiting tables in L.A.

Examples of boasting abound.

You’ve seen this. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe it bothers you, too.

To be fair, this self aggrandizement is not only encouraged by the viewing audience, we expect it. 

Boasting.

About self.

On some level, I’m supposed to toot my own horn, to let the world know when God has enabled me to do great things. Fueled by humility, there’s widsom in this.  

Sometimes I err too much on humility’s side, for fear others will think I’m one of those puffed up people whose number one fan is…me.

But scripture tells me I must boast. 

It also tells me what and Who I’m to boast about.

And here’s where it gets tricky.

I’m to boast about my weaknesses.

But, Lord.

For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 12:10b

Apostle Paul got this. Three times he begged the Lord to remove what he referred to as a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment him. (vs 7)

Thorn.

Satan.

Torment.

 This doesn’t sound like Paul had a pebble in his sandal. 

And sure doesn’t sound like something he’d want to boast about.

But God’s answer was clear.

My grace is (don’t miss the present tense here) sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. (vs 9)

Power. Perfect. Weakness.

The weakness (aka ‘thorn’) was meant to keep Paul humble so that God would be exalted, and His strength would be made available to Paul…who needed it.

Badly. That Satan torment thing?

My weakness lends itself to God’s power made perfect in me, allows me to endure dark shadows that gather over the garden of the soul until the dawn rises again.

My weakness exalts the One Who should be exalted, Whose fame is known worldwide.

God’s sufficient grace was – and is – available to me. To you. 

All. The. Time.

My weakness, my limitations, my inability to usurp God on His throne…these all make me strong.

How have your weaknesses given you opportunity to boast? Strengthened you when you needed it?

I encourage you to boast about it here 🙂

Blessed are those whose strength is in You. Psalm 84:5a

6 Comments

  1. Wonderful article, and inspiring. It’s been difficult for me to “toot my own horn” but when I realize it’s not me, but the message I’m wanting to get out, it’s easier. Thanks you for this article.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      It does take a little mental ‘gymnastics’ to remember it’s God who we’re boasting about when we ‘toot our horn’. Thankful He gives the strength to boast when we’re at our weakest.

  2. Kelly says:

    I have plenty of weakness to boast about and so many ways the Lord has worked through me in spite of them. We serve such an amazing God!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      True! How hard it is to both receive and welcome these weaknesses. Thanks for the reminder…we do serve an amazing God!

  3. Bill Albers says:

    Your talent to make the complex reasonable is amazing. Please continue probing the scriptures.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      Thank you for saying so. I so love your way with words…probing the scriptures. Sometimes it feels more like God is probing my heart. Not a bad thing.

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