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 might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
Last night at my annual company meeting, the top performers for 2022 were celebrated for their accomplishments and this year the team I am on was awarded the “Leadership Cup.” All of us like to boast, a least a little, right? It’s a natural tendency. We brag about our kids or grandkids. We drop names of places we’ve been or people we’ve met, but there is a real problem lurking when we begin to brag about our life in Christ as if we somehow had something to contribute to our salvation.
Jesus warned us of that kind of arrogance in His parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get (Luke 18: 10-12).”
Have you ever bragged about what you haven’t done? You haven’t cheated in business. You haven’t cheated on your spouse. You live a respectable life. When we say (or think) these things, we are essentially taking the position of the Pharisee.
Think about this – when we say that we would never identify with the Pharisee we are actually being like him – a least a little.
I am not the source of my life. The same is true for you. As followers of Christ, we recognize that “He is the source” of our lives. Let’s remember that when we boast, we boast of the LORD and His work in our lives.