2 Cor. 10:12-18
Most of us are often proud of or boastful of some achievement, an association, a church, a minister, our children, our wisdom, and many others. The question remains; is it okay for a Christian to boast? See Paul boasting in 2 Cor 9:2-3; 2 Thess 1:4; 1 Thess 2:19; Phil 2:16. Was it ok for Paul to boast here? When is it wrong to boast? Or what type of boasting is unacceptable before God? 1 Cor 13:4
- Boasting in the works of the law. Rom 2:17-24; 3:21-26; Eph 2:9
- Boasting about the gifts of God 1 Cor 1:29; 4:7
- Boasting about other believers and men of God 2 Cor 1:14; especially comparison with others – 2 Cor 3:1; 4:2; 5:12; 6:4; 7:11 – self commendation. True boasting in the Lord is actually boasting ofthe Lord—boasting of His great attributes, boasting of what He has done for us, of what He is still doing and of what He has promised to do. Jeremiah 9:23-24
First, boasting is often expressed in outward display and ostentation. It is very much a matter of speech (2 Pet. 2:18-20; Jude 16). Boasting is an activity that is normally verbalized and is not just a matter of inward feelings.
Second, frequently boastful words refer to people who are comparing themselves with others to the detriment of those others. Boasting is synonymous with commending oneself, 2 Cor. 10:12). It expresses an attitude of superiority over other people, and with this goes the tendency to treat them as inferior and to exert power over them. 1 Corinthians 4:6.
Third, another important element is that the object in which one boasts is often that in which one puts confidence and trust. In boasting the individual declares what he relies on and what is his support in life Philippians 3:3-4, Hebrews 3:6
Fourth, a powerful element of self-sufficiency and even complacency is implied in Paul’s chiding the Corinthian congregation for doing nothing about the case of incest in the congregation while being elated with their general situation (1 Cor. 5:2). You can’t be boastful of how righteous or pious you are without dealing with your own obedience first.
Fifth, boasting is often an expression of self-deceit, in which people have been blindly misled to a false estimate of themselves (Col. 2:18). However, on some occasions people boast about actual achievements and brag about what they have done.
Sixth, such boastful people stand in strong contrast with God, who opposes whatever is high and exalted among human beings. He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:6, Prov. 3:34, Luke 1:51, 2 Corinthians 10:5
Seventh, in the context of Christian faith human values are frequently inverted. According to James 1:9-10 the believer in humble worldly circumstances is to boast, that is, to rejoice in his high spiritual position, and the rich person should exult in his lowly position. This seems to mean that the rich person should be glad to see that hisworldly position counts for nothing, because it is only by becoming humble that he will attain to true exaltation.
Discuss James 4:13-16; Jer 9:23; Prov 27:1-2; 1 Cor 4:6-7; 2 Cor . 11:30, James 3:5; Rom 12:3; Prov 25:27; Gal 6:14; Prov 25:14; Rom 15:18; Ps 49:6-9