Prayer for the day
But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me speedily, O God.
Scripture for the day
Bragging. It’s something we hear from celebrities and “nobodies” alike. We hear how great people are, how wonderful their accomplishments have been. People brag about who they are, about what they’ve done, about where they’ve been, and about who they know. We name-drop, we boast, we build ourselves up in order to look important in the eyes of others.
Paul talks a lot about boasting in his letters. He constantly says the same thing when he talks about our ability to boast: we shouldn’t boast about anything that we’ve undertaken. Our status, our stature, our works: none of them are any cause for us to brag or to feel improper pride. Instead, says Paul, we should be boasting only in the work that has been done for us. Our thankfulness to God for what he has done leads us to boast that our God is amazing, the God who can work the miracle of transformation in our bodies and in our spirits. Our boasting is NOT based on how great we are now, nor how we wrought this transformation alone. No, our boasting is that regardless of how awful we’ve been, God has done something incredible in us and through us.
The Psalmist knows this full well when he talks about the work of the Lord to bring the Israelites low and to restore them, to punish them and to raise them to new life. The Psalmist recognizes that the Israelites, while a great people, are great because their God is great, and not because of anything they’ve achieved on their own. All of their achievements are worked by the God to whom they belong, and in the end, He is their everything.
Let us follow the example of the Psalmist and of Paul, and place our pride in its proper context: let us boast in the love and work of our God.