Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV
To boast is to brag, to be puffed up with Pride. The Bible defines pride as arrogance, haughtiness, and conceit. Pride emphasizes the self over others, and it rejects God’s greatness. Pride occurs when sinful human beings subconsciously aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him. Pride contends for supremacy with Him. So as we can see, boasting comes from a basis of PRIDE. What do you PRIDE YOURSELF with and about in this world? If we have PRIDE in anything, then we are not aligned with our God, because it is written: Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:5,18-19) If you are prideful, God is not your ally. “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11) in Acts 12:23 it says that an angel of the Lord struck Herod so that he was eaten with worms and died because when he received applause from the people, he did not give God the glory but took it for himself.
Leader, the Holman Study Bible defines pride as: undue confidence in and attention to one’s own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define, easier to recognize in others than in oneself. Many biblical words describe this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. James writes that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). The Greek word James uses for “opposed” is “antitassō” – “to range in battle against”, in other words it means to BE AT WAR with. So consider God is at war against all who are proud. Peter says the same thing in 1Peter 5:5 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” and the same Greek word is used. God resists the proud AND His grace goes to those who are humble. Pride was the cause of Satan’s fall from heaven as he said in his heart “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Pride is a problem for all of humanity. It comes from a wicked mindset: It is NOT GOD who is doing it, it is ME! The mindset of PRIDE is offensive to God. The Bible clearly teaches that God is a jealous God. Exodus 20:5 states, “You shall not bow down to them [other gods] or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God.”
Conduit, pride is an inwardly directed emotion that can easily offend others and carries with it a connotation that displays an inflated sense of one’s own worth or personal status. Pride can create a sense of superiority over others and can be condescending. Pride in one’s nation or in one’s own children is somewhat different from that of having pride in themselves (Prov 17:6) but even that can self-attribute a sense of worth that is easily overvalued, overinflated, and unrealistic. The book of wisdom makes it clear: There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. He begins the list with PRIDE. Paul is clear; that to have PRIDE, is FOOLISH. I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! (2 Corinthians 11:16-19) Paul was saying to have pride in self is foolish, healthy PRIDE is reserved for our LORD, OUR GOD, our SAVIOR! Brothers consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast in His presence. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”(1 Corinthians 26-31) Paul is making it clear that if we boast in ourselves, since GOD DID ALL THE WORK, we are stealing God’s glory. Paul goes on to tell us, it is ok to have PRIDE, to BOAST, however we are to give GLORY where GLORY is DUE! If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. (2 Corinthians 11:30-31) Today, get your focus OFF OF YOU, and get it on the LORD, our God! Today, commit to LOVING THE LORD our GOD, with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength and with ALL YOUR PRIDE! Be proud that The God of the universe loves you, BELIEVES in you, and is IN YOU- working and willing! “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh.” (Jeremiah 9:25)