Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:31
Bragging is big business. It’s big business not only because it seems to be in our wiring to brag. It’s also big business because companies can make money helping people brag in a way that it doesn’t sound like bragging.
One example. A few years ago, author Peggy Klaus wrote a book entitled, Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It. The book became a best-seller, featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on The Today Show. Another example. Some companies have begun bragging on behalf of their customers. For instance, a fitness company posts a personal video on a customer’s Facebook page, praising that customer for becoming so fit. A resort does the same thing, praising a customer for planning such a fantastic vacation. The customer then, understandably, passes all this bragging on to their social media friends. In return, the companies receive good publicity.
Bragging is big business. And while one might debate the pros and cons of such promotion in the business world, when it comes to standing alone before God, you and I know we have nothing about which to brag. Standing alone before the God of perfect goodness and perfect justice—all I can point to is my sinful failure and rebellion. All I can point to is my sinful genius for self-absorption, disregarding others, and drifting away from God.
God would have had every right to look at me—to look at us—turn his back in contempt and walk away forever. But he didn’t, and he hasn’t. Instead, he became one of us. God the Son, Jesus Christ, lived a life of perfect humility on our behalf. For all our sins of self-absorption, he endured the full weight of divine punishment in our place. And now, through faith in the Son, God declares us holy, forgiven, and sons and daughters of the King.
Does this compel us to brag, to boast? Yes. But it’s not about us anymore. It’s all about our Savior.
Lord, you have rescued me from the emptiness of self. Praise be to your holy name. Amen.