Bragging Rights (2 Corinthians 10-13)

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2 Corinthians 11:30)

It’s funny how much we like to have bragging rights.  Life is a comparison, and we’re really good at looking at one another and trying to outdo each other.  Whether in a sport, in academics, or in a board game, we like to let everyone know when we are the winners.

When I was living in Brazil, there were two youth pastors with whom I spent a good deal of time.  One of our weekly activities was to play a board game together, and I almost always won.  It became a pride issue, really, because I got used to being the regular victor.

And therein lies the problem whenever we’re good at something: our pride gets in the way of God.

We think that we’re so amazing and that God is so lucky to have us as a part of His team.  We overinflate ourselves forgetting that there’s a bigger pond out there, and some bigger fish is just waiting to devour us.  I think if I were to sit across the table with Jesus and play the same game He would slaughter me in it for no other reason than to help me get over myself.

We need to learn to take the advice of Paul who claimed bragging rights in only one area: his absolute weakness.  It’s thought by some that Paul was a pretty sickly person who didn’t have a particularly strong appearance.  He also claimed a thorn in his flesh, which might also have been physical (in fairness, we don’t really know what it was).  Nonetheless, God used Paul for some incredible things.  Why?  Because he was weak.  That was the only thing he could brag about, and it was because of his bragging in that area that God used him to accomplish His purposes.  See, when God used Paul, no one looked back and thought, “That Paul, he’s sure an amazing guy.”  They instead thought something like, “Paul’s God must be incredible since He’s able to take such a weak human being and do such amazing things.”

God isn’t looking for gifted, talented, or strong people to serve Him because they so easily get caught up in themselves.  Instead, God wants people who give Him the glory.  He wants people who are willing to allow their weaknesses to become God’s strength.

What do you have to brag about?   Where are you weak?  It could be that God is waiting for you to get over yourself so He can display His glory through your life in an undeniable way.  But as long as He has to fight you, He will look elsewhere.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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