Lutheran Home Association Blog

What’s your boast?

Posted on Mon, Jul 22, 2019

cruz-1092672_1920If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

I don’t know about you, but the word “boast” seems to immediately put a sour taste in my mouth.  No one likes a braggart. 

Maybe then you find it a little strange that our verse for this week uses the word “boast” twice.  It gets even stranger when you read the whole verse and see that Paul encourages us to boast about our weakness.

But then as a Christian you stop and read the whole verse and you realize whom you are boasting in when you boast of your weakness.  Yes, when we boast in our weakness and the things which show our weakness, we are boasting about our Savior, Jesus.

Paul continues this discussion on boasting about weakness into the next chapter, 2 Corinthians 12 and records these thoughts from God “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" and his reflection on those words “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Do you see the whole point Paul is making here?  When we see our weaknesses and the help we need to deal with them, we are then relying on Christ and his strength and not on our own wisdom or strength.

How well do you do with that concept of giving up reliance on yourself and leaning completely on Christ?  There are really two things we have to deal with when we do this.  First of all we have to deal with the inbred human nature that thinks we have the power within ourselves to do things and wants the credit for everything that we do.  Secondly, leaning completely on Christ requires faith (a lot of it) and complete faith to let go of everything we are and lean on Christ, trusting that he can and will do it all.

Think of the ways that perhaps you do that and don’t even realize it. Forgiveness is the daily example of how Christians admit that they have failed miserably and need to lean completely on God to resolve the guilt and mess of their sin.  Hope and comfort in the face of death is another place where Christians often demonstrate reliance on God in the face of their weakness.  When we realize that the only comfort we have is found in Jesus’ resurrection and that we cast ourselves completely on God’s promises of the perfect home he has prepared for us in heaven, we are truly leaning completely on Christ in perhaps one of the greatest moments of human weakness.

So what is the area of your life where you need to boast in your weakness to lead you to rely completely on Jesus and all the he has done and continues to do for you?  Or is it perhaps the issue of having the faith to admit that you have the weaknesses and need to let go of yourself and lean completely on Christ?

Thank God for giving you the weaknesses which you have so that you can see and have Christ’s power wonderfully shown in your life!


Posted by Joel Gaertner

Rev. Joel Gaertner is The Lutheran Home Association Vice President of Ministry and National Director of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM). He provides spiritual guidance to our entire organization and develops and guides JCM programs in congregations. Pastor Gaertner and his wife, LuAnn, live in Cudahy, Wis., and have two adult children. Outside work, he enjoys golf, walking and watching just about any sporting event, especially the Green Bay Packers.

Tags: Christian Life