Something to Boast About
Key Text: Galatians 6:11-16
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.
There are always plenty of people around who want something to boast about.
Sometimes it’s how good they are…
Or how rich they are…
Or who they know…
Or who knows them.
Sometimes it’s the size of their house…
Or bank account…
Or even, if they don’t have any of this, how they are “above” needing such “superficial” things because they are so…
You know the type. The apostle Paul knew them too and he was not impressed. He had learned, in a rather difficult conversion experience, that a fancy education or powerful social connections are not what they are cracked up to be.
In other words, he was humbled.
Afterward he could say boldly, and honestly, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
That’s true humility – not to mention a deep, powerful understanding of God’s grace.
So, don’t worry about those who have a tendency to boast about this or that.
People of faith know that the thing to focus on is the cross and how God turned an instrument of torture and death into the very way to eternal life.
That’s something worth boasting about.
By Paul Simrell
The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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