But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…
I remember sitting with a woman in Taiwan who explained to me how God was moving in Taiwan. She then told me that “Taiwan is going to be the nation by which Asia will experience revival.” I mention this because it’s funny I heard similar thing about a church in the Philippines. And it’s even funnier because it’s something that I hear and I even say a lot myself.
It’s called the pride of being on the cutting edge.
The pride of the cutting-edge recognizes correctly what God is doing in our time and place, but incorrectly places the emphasis on ourselves. The American church is filled with the pride of being on the cutting-edge.
“Our church is doing this”, “I belong with this organization/denomination/group people/school”, “We are doing this and that for the Lord..”
There’s so much spiritual language in it, but there’s such a great danger of pride.
When God uses us in a unique and powerful way, it’s so tempting as people longing to be special and significant, to seek honor and respect for the work that we’re doing.
But the truth is we actually miss out on true joy when we boast in the work we do, and the names we do it for.
Paul had this revelation clear and boldly declared “Far be it from me to boast in anything but in the cross of Christ…” His heart was “don’t let taking pride in what I do be even close to me.” His focus was on the work of Christ which started the whole thing.
When we see focus on the work of God through us, we get puffed up. When we focus on the beauty of Jesus and the fact that it’s only his work which allows ours, we garner humility before God and before others because we realize that we have nothing to brag about.
The only thing we can brag about is the work of God done through Christ. And that becomes our joy, and subsequently delivers us from the pride of being on the cutting edge.