But let him that glorieth glory in this,
that he understandeth and knoweth me,
that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness,
judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:
for in these things I delight, saith the Lord .
Jeremiah 9:24 (KJV)
“However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 (NIV)
Recently I was speaking with another Grandpa. He confessed that his grandchildren were “his world”. I knew exactly what he meant. If your grandchild wins a university scholarship that is grounds for boasting. Or when they volunteer to work one summer at an inner city mission that is exciting also. Anything they do that is beyond the ordinary gives us opportunity to talk about them. We enjoy boasting about the accomplishments of those we love.
A man I knew was a boaster but not concerning his family members. Rather he boasted about himself. The first time I met him he found a way to tell me he was brilliant, won academic awards at university, was an accomplished fighter pilot and was so successful in his occupation that others often consulted with him to learn the secrets of his success. He managed to tell me all that within an hour of meeting him. There was no doubt he was in love with himself.
While we might think that we would never be that sort of person, most of us must admit we enjoy it when people admire us and speak well of us. Popularity with our friends and family is pleasurable. Also, knowing we are appreciated is good for our mental health. One person humorously said that the ultimate insult is when your twin brother forgets your birthday.
A fine line exists between good self esteem and glorying in yourself. Our best delight ought not to be in ourselves and our accomplishments, nor should it be in boasting about our family members and their accomplishments. Instead, as Christians, we ought to glory most in the Lord Who has chosen us, called us to be redeemed, and loves us with an everlasting love in spite of what we were when He first came to us.
In Luke 10:20 Jesus is quoted telling the disciples where their delight should be in life. They were not to glory in their accomplishments and spiritual victories but rather take joy in the fact they are saved from their sins and have their names “written in heaven”. Examine yourself today and ask yourself what brings you the most joy and delight in life?
Review the things you have accomplished in life. Consider the exciting, exuberant times in your emotional life. What is going through your mind when you have the greatest feelings of joy and happiness? If your greatest pleasure is in yourself and what you have achieved then you are in spiritual trouble.
The greatest preacher who ever preached in the English language was the English Baptist C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892). He once said “You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.” Let us remember the words of Scripture that say, 1 Peter 5:5 (NIV)
“…God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”