There is something about guys and boasting? Someone has a new car… we have one that’s better. Someone has the latest gadget… we’ve got it with the more up to date accessories. I remember years ago when I got my first IPOD. I wasn’t anything close to an early adopter, but I was excited with my new toy. I was showing it to my good friend, Dave Brandt. And for the first and only time… it messed up. It jammed. I had told him about all the great features it had. All I could get it into was paper weight mode.
He said: “That’s what you get for bragging about it!” He then told me about his first car. He was so proud of it. Showing it to his buddies, he pushed in a cassette and said, “And guys, the best part of the car is the sound system.” The cassette deck promptly ate his cassette. That’s the problem with boasting. What do we have down here that we can brag about? We rave about a restaurant and then take friends there and get horrible service. We can’t stop talking about a brand new show, only to find it canceled due to low ratings. Things in this world let you down.
Paul gives us “something to brag about” in the last chapter of Galatians. He states: “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.” While the false teachers were boasting in their success at drawing new disciples to themselves… Paul simply points to the Cross. You want to boast in something… boast in the fact of what God in Christ has done for you.
As Eugene Peterson put it: “We can’t save ourselves by pulling on our bootstraps, even when the bootstraps are made of the finest religious leather.” (Eugene Peterson, Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 3.) It is ironic but the only thing we can truly boast about is something that had to be done for us. And our bragging rights to Jesus ought to eclipse anything else in our lives.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–  not by works, so that no one can boast.