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July 6 | Galatians 6:14-18


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION

 

Prone to Boasting

by Mary Alice McGinnis

 

Are we prone to boasting? The Oxford dictionary defines boasting as “excessively proud and self-satisfied talk about one's achievements, possessions or abilities."


If there was ever a culture prone to boasting, ours would be it, right? Just look at any social media feed and what you do see? Even in our day-to-day conversations, how much of it is centered around being self-focused and one-up-man-ship. Just think over the conversations you have had in the last 24 hours. This would not be true if we were not by nature prone to boasting.


In today’s reading, Paul was addressing the people of Galatia about a concern he had - people who were boasting.


This was a big topic for Paul in many of his writings. He used this word “boast” or “boasting” at least 30 times, in the book or Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and 2 Thessalonians. I believe he addresses this so frequently because he knew his own tendency to boast. After all, he had been who once thought himself better than others.

But Paul says something very counter-intuitive. “May I NEVER boast EXCEPT in the cross of Jesus Christ.”


People boast about what they have accomplished, right? They bring to attention the things that show they are special or successful—the high points of their lives. And on the opposite side, they tend to hide the things of which they are most ashamed.


In Roman times, the cross was well known as the instrument of the most cruel and shameful of all death sentences. It was reserved for the guiltiest criminals.  


Why does Paul want to boast in something as shameful as the cross? Because it was the cross of Jesus!! Because he knew that only through the shameful death that Jesus endured on our behalf are we make right with God.


Only then can we stand before God pure and blameless with nothing to hide.


Notice where he says, “What counts is the new creation.” We have been made new in Jesus Christ. We don’t make ourselves a new creation, only God can do that.


Next time you find yourself prone to boasting, why not bring this phrase to mind: “May I never boast except in the cross of Jesus Christ.”


PRAYER


Bring your heart in worship to God through the words of this song today.


I Will Boast by Chris Tomlin



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