This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23-24
Pride comes in a variety of packages. We all have things we are proud of. Maybe your pride stems from the elite college you attended or the prized job you have landed. Maybe your self-importance comes from the car you drive or the house where you park it. Maybe your egotism is generated by important relationships or the successes of your children. "Best t-ball player on the team!" Maybe your vast intellect swells your head. Isn't it incredible how some people are experts on every subject, even when they aren't really experts on any subject?
Pride comes in a variety of deliverables. Some people are open boasters. Two minutes into a conversation, they are expelling the hot air that puffs them up. Others are more private in their pride. Their "aw-shucks" demeanor hides their self-importance well, but it secretly drives them and provides a sense of worth. It is amazing how we can, at the same time, deflect a compliment while absorbing the arrogance it can produce.
Our passage today gives us clear instruction regarding pride. Surely God gives some people great intelligence. Others He provides with spiritual, emotional, and/or physical strength. Still others He blesses with wealth. And there are some that get a triple dip waffle cone of wisdom, strength, and riches! But our boasting is not to be generated from what we have but from Whom we have. The only basis for our boasting is that we have the understanding to know the living God. What a difference it would make in our lives and the lives of those around us if we stopped boasting about ourselves and started boasting about our Savior.
Lord, when we boast--openly or secretly--point it out to us. Remind us that all the things that produce pride come from Your hand. May our only boasting be in You. In Jesus' name. Amen.