Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. (2 Cor. 10:17)

IN ENGLAND, WILLIAM CAREY was a shoemaker and a part-time preacher. He went to India as a missionary in 1793. There he translated the Bible into several languages, founded a Christian college, taught languages, and helped abolish widow burning and infanticide. When he was asked how he accomplished what he did, Carey humbly said, “I can plod. Few people know what they can do until they try, and persevere in what they undertake.”

For those who set goals and succeed, the temptation is to boast. Boasting assumes that what we did was of our own ability, without help from God. Believers who have had unusual spiritual experiences may be tempted to brag about those revelations. Such talk is damaging to those who hear the braggarts. Immediately, the audience feels inferior, separated from their friend. Any form of boasting is wrong, and our Christian progress is hindered.

The apostle Paul had plenty to boast about. His upbringing, nationality, and education were impressive. He had a miraculous call to take the gospel to the Gentiles. After his conversion, he had visions. However, he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from being proud of those revelations. He learned to boast only in God.

There is a healthy way to boast. The Bible encourages us to boast in our weaknesses and dependence on God.

Let your deeds do the boasting today, not your lips.

Jewell Johnson lives in Arizona with her husband, LeRoy. They have six children and nine grandchildren. Besides writing, Jewell enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.