Posts Tagged ‘Boasting’

h1

“DIVINE RESUME” – August 2

August 2, 2013

“Thus says the Lord: ”Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.””  Jeremiah 9:23-24

job-interviewEvery job seeker understands the importance of a quality professional resume.  Those seeking employment must sell themselves to the perspective employer and the résumé provides a concise summary of applicable boasts.   Often, the résumé is the format where applicable skill sets can be highlighted.

The résumé states an applicant’s education and training.  It will catalog his career accomplishments.  Awards and commendations will be listed in order to distinguish from other hopefuls.

The boasts of a résumé are the traits that an applicant believes represent the value that they will provide to an employer.

Thankfully, we are not expected to prepare personal resumes for those positions that we are inclined toward in our social worlds.  However, that does not mean we are not selling ourselves to others.  Social circles can be a circus of positioning and posturing for attention and praise.  Just because we don’t hand out resumes does not mean that we are without the ability to distinguish ourselves from others.

“Meet and greets” are an interview for potential association and friendship.  An oral resume typically flows in response to the question of,  “tell me about yourself.”   I tend to pick those personal traits that may be of interest in a particular social setting.  It comes pretty natural to discuss that which distinguishes us.  We all have gifts and experiences that make us interesting.  Every person has a unique story.  We are individuals and we are distinct.

However, what is your go-to story.  When asked to talk about yourself, where do you start?

Are you a Mom?  Are you a Dad?
Do you talk about hunting or fishing?
Is it hobbies like gardening?
Does your career define you?
Are you a writer or a reader?
How about a traveler and vacationer?

I have never known anyone who initiated their oral resume with the trait of knowing and understanding God.  What would your reaction be if you were to say, “Tell me a little something about yourself” and I responded, “Well, probably the most notable thing about me is that I know and understand God”?  It seems like that might come off as a little arrogant.

However, that is what we are instructed to boast about.  We don’t have any problem talking about other things that we know and understand.  When we offer advice, it is because we know or understand something.  Typically, those traits in which we have invested time and energy to understand and know are those things that we appreciate and value.  When we are asked to talk about ourselves, we typically go to those things that we value the most; those things that are important to us.

Our go-to story should be that we know and understand God.  It will never be arrogant to talk about knowing and understanding God when the explanation is in the context of our experience of God’s steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.  True knowledge and understanding of God is not an intellectual achievement that brings glory to man.  True knowledge and understanding of God comes from experiencing His steadfast love, His forgiveness, and a transforming of our life through the power of His Spirit.  Therefore, appropriate boasting in one’s knowledge and understanding of God will inevitably make much of God.

There is nothing more distinguishing for a Child of God is the fact that they know and are known by their Savior.  There is nothing more important about me than the fact that I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.  The most valuable aspect of my life is the gift of my faith.  That is the most interesting thing about me; everything else that I could boast about pales in comparison to the grace and mercy that has been shown me.  It is because of that divine grace and mercy that I have any knowledge or understandings of the Most High.  Therefore, my boast does not distinguish me.  It distinguishes Him.

Now, there is a go-to story!

It just makes sense that a follower of Christ’s oral resume should start with, “I know and understand God because He has shown me His steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in my life.”

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for showing yourself to me.  Thank you for teaching me about you.  Thank you for saving me.  Help me to keep my perspective right.  May my boasts be a delight to you I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

h1

“GLORIOUSLY WEAK” – June 1

June 1, 2013

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-29

Body buildingStrength!  Who does not want to be strong?  Who wants to be weak?  I have never known a person who strove to be a weakling.  My entire world has been dominated by the strong.

Athletics is a competition of strength.  Those who have the strength to generate the most power, speed, flexibility, balance, and agility will be the ones who win the competition.  I have never trained for an athletic event with the goal of getting weaker.

English: Albert Einstein. Français : Portrait ...Academics is a competition of intellectual strength.  Those who have the strength to manipulate complex problems, develop elaborate logic, and comprehend extensive treatises, are the ones who achieve the pinnacles of the ivory towers.  I have never studied with the intent to be weaker in a particular subject.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...Business is a competition of power.  Capitalism dictates that the strongest businesses will survive and prosper.  The business with the most capital, stronger market share, superior product, better price is the business that will prosper.  I don’t spend my work-week in the hope of making my company have a weaker balance sheet.

Relationships are built on strength.  Those who possess the strengths of love, compassion, patience, selflessness, and forgiveness will be the ones who have deep and meaningful relationships.  Deutsch: Georg Müller (1805–1898), Waisenvater...I don’t long for weak and meaningless relationships.

Faith is a matter of strength.  We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak. (Romans 15:1)  There are those with stronger faith than others.  I don’t seek God in order for my faith to become weaker.

Our world is built on a pursuit and desire for strength.  I have never known a person who liked feeling inferior.  Our own feelings of inferiority are merely an acknowledgment that someone else has a strength that is superior to your own.  Our objection to being cast as inferior is a refusal to accept another person’s opinion of differing strengths.  We spend our lives making assessments of strength, both our own and others.

Usain Bolt

There may be the self-deprecating sorts who don’t think that they have any strength.  That is simply a lie polished in the center of their self-obsession.  Anything that we do well is a strength and everyone does something well in comparison to someone else.  I am incredibly fast in a foot race with a four-year old.  I am not so fast in a race against Usain Bolt.  I will destroy a toddler in a cage match but I will run for my life against Jon “Bones” Jones.

We all have strengths.

We all want to be stronger.

That is how our world works.

Here is the problem with this approach that we all live by, “God does not use the strong.”  This is insanely counter intuitive.  God does not use those who are strong and wise.  God does not use those people who are particularly skilled in the arena of their talents.  That just does not seem right.  I can give you a list of people who appear to be using their gifts and talents in ways that are very much being used by God.

Whether God uses us has nothing to do with human ability.  It has everything to do with our attitude.  I can do many things in my own strength:

I can love my wife in my own strength.
I can parent my kids in my own strength.
I can write this blog in my own strength.
I can go to work in my own strength.
I can even seek God in my own strength.

I can do all of those activities and many more by doing what I am good at.  What happens when one of those activities excels due to my efforts?  I want to take a bow.  I want to be acknowledged.  I want to boast in an acceptable Christian manner.

This is the insidious nature of strength.  Our greatest strengths can lead us into unknown bogs of futility.  We can think that we are doing such great work using our strengths when God has turned His back due to our pride.  Pride lies in wait for the first glimmer of a strength.  Pride will snatch a strength in its burgeoning infancy and fan itself into a flaming beast.

Those of extraordinary skills and talents are the most susceptible to stumble into pride.  However, we all need to be diligent in examining where we attribute our strengths.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Eph. 6:10

What do you have that has not been given to you?  What strengths do you have that are not from God?  What talents or special acumen is not a result of the Creator’s hand?  Was not God’s sovereign plan guiding every opportunity that has gotten you to where you are?

Every strength that we possess is the result of a divine blessing from God.  Therefore, we have no accomplishment in which to take a bow for.  Honestly acknowledging the true source of our strength results in us boasting in the Lord.  He is the one who is due the credit.  He is the one due the acclaim.

Another aspect of strength that is good to remember is the fact that our strength is not that impressive.  Strength is relative.  Our accomplishments are meritorious only in comparison.  We can appear worthy of praise only in comparison to one another.  However, a boast in ourselves quickly appears rather silly in comparison to God.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????Most of us have examined the flexed bicep of a pre-pubescent boy.  We pat him on the head and praise him for how strong he is all the while smirking about the absurdity of his bony little arm.  We are much less than that scrawny little boy when we compare our strengths to God.  It seems so very foolish to make much of a strength when we consider the strengths of our Father in heaven.  The assessment of our greatest strength in comparison to God will result in us boasting in the Lord.

The reality is that we are weak.  We were made weak.  We will always be weak in comparison to God.  All the strength that we have is a gift and unfathomable strength resides in Christ.

The glory of God is best seen in our weakness.

We should revel in our weakness because that is when God is made much of.

Therefore, our weakness is glorious.

When we fully embrace the glorifying potential in the weakness of our strengths, then we really can be used by God.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me of the pride I have taken in my strength.  Forgive me for boasting in myself and not acknowledging all the blessings you have given me.  Forgive me for not humbling myself before your greatness.  Thank you for my weakness.  Thank you for creating me to need You.  Thank you for doing everything that my strength is so unable to accomplish.  Thank you for not giving me trials based on my strength  All my strength comes from You.  All that is good in my life comes through my weakness.  Lord, may you be glorified in my weakness.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

%d bloggers like this: