14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. (Galatians 6:14-16)
Challenged, to say the least, by this scripture from Paul. A few other times in 1 Corinthians he writes similar things, “to not boast about anything other than the Lord.” Paul, having been well-versed in Old Testament scriptures, certainly knew he was referencing Jeremiah when he writes:
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken! (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
It’s so easy to stand up and take credit directly or indirectly for what God is doing, for success, for achievement. We do it subconsciously. Everyone wants credit. Everyone, whether we know it or not, wants glory, wants to hold his “head up.”
But Paul and Jeremiah are clear here: Let’s not seek our own glory, let’s not seek to put our heads up high, let’s not boast UNLESS we boast about the Lord.
God wants all the glory. He wants all the credit. And the more I seek to give him what he deserves, the more I seek to brag and boast about him rather than myself, the more I understand truly what it means to be a “new creation,” as Paul writes.