“There is nothing quite so dead as a self-centered man…a man who holds himself up as a self-made success, and measures himself by himself and is pleased with the result.” ~ Wesley G. Huber
Celebration is a good thing. Pride however is not. Humble celebration is healthy while prideful boasting causes great damage to your leadership and your team. Always take a step back and ask yourself: “Who all deserves credit for what we’ve accomplished?” Remember, the analogy of a turtle sitting on top of a fence post? We all know he didn’t get there by himself! Jeremiah was a prophet to a rebellious generation; one of the things he had to remind them about was to maintain a proper perspective on who should receive credit.
This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken! Jeremiah 9:22-24 (NLT)
Notice that Jeremiah is actually quoting the Lord in this passage. Think of this passage as God speaking directly to you just as if you were receiving this as a personal email from Him. I’m pretty sure you would mark it as “important” in your inbox. Note also that the passage ends with the declaration “I the Lord have spoken!”
This passage contains parallel statements that sit in contrast to each other. People who boast in their own wisdom don’t truly know God. People who boast in their power don’t understand God’s unfailing love and ultimate justice. People who boast in their riches don’t understand that riches are temporal and they fail to appreciate the eternal value of righteousness.
God wants us to know Him and understand His ways. If we truly come to this knowledge, we will see ourselves as small but by no means insignificant. God has a plan for your life and leadership that’s not about you. He will use you to bring glory to His name. Remember this passage is written by Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet”. Jeremiah was rejected, ridiculed, beaten and despised by his generation all because of his commitment to complete obedience to God.
Whether or not you achieve “success” in this world through wisdom, power and riches, never lose sight of God’s grander plan. Wisdom, power and riches will only serve you in the temporal realm. Knowing God’s Love, Grace, Judgment and Righteousness have eternal benefits.
As a Christian leader, learn to boast well. Take time today to use your platform of influence to boast about knowing God, tell others how you’ve experienced His love, and make a public commitment to seek His righteousness. You have reason to boast!