And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
Being boastful is not always a bad thing, but I think most often in our lives we do see boasting as a form of pride more often than not. The apostle Paul, however, was not using the term "boast" in the prideful sense, when you consider the Greek definition of the translated word (kauchaomai: (make) boast, glory, joy, rejoice) as well as the context of the word in the passage. Paul was not a prideful man, perhaps because of the "thorn" in the flesh that God allowed Satan to give him as indicated in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8.
The only good boasting is that done out of a pure, humble and thankful heart, which gives God the credit for all things overcome. Paul definitely had a humble and thankful heart as we've seen in many of his letters to the churches of the new testament. Paul loved to give credit to God for all of the things he had overcome in his life.
As many of my faithful readers know, I have been doing some speaking lately for Stonecroft Ministries where I give my testimony as I share my journey in life of relying on God and accepting the realization that it is He who is in control of my life and not myself. Honestly, I have had a hard time with sharing my testimony. Surprisingly enough, the hard part has not been the public speaking aspect. I'm rather enjoying that piece as God has somehow enabled me to forego my previous fear of public speaking to do what He has asked of me. The hard part has not even been the telling of my story or the fear of what someone might think about me after sharing my testimony. My story is not shocking nor shameful in any way, but rather just the story of an ordinary person going through the trials of life. I merely wish that I could share more of the practical aspects of how I've allowed God to change my life and share the victories that God can give to all of us who place our lives in His hands. Basically, I want to leave myself and my story out of it. I want for God to get the glory and not my story. I want to boast about God's power to change a life.
Getting back to Paul, I admire him for his thankful heart. I admire him for his courage to face life's challenges in total weakness and acknowledgement that without God he was nothing, so that the people he spoke to would only hear the words of Jesus coming out of his mouth. Paul was a mighty man for God, because of his weaknesses, not in spite of them. The power of Christ did indeed rest upon him, and it can rest upon us as well, as we get to know God completely and do and be what He expects of us. Then, we can do some beneficial boasting.
1) What weakness do I have that will allow Christ to be strong in on my behalf?
2) How thankful is your spirit? Do you realize that everything you are and have that is good is from God? Write down a list of all of your good qualities/abilities/etc. and give thanks to God for them in a prayer.
3) How can you tell others about the things God has done for you in your life? Can you effectively keep yourself out of the story?