In This Passage, We Are Confronted With The Challenge Of Humility

The worldly wise boast of their wisdom and praise themselves before us regularly. The tyrants among us are constantly boasting of their strength, and those who boast of their wealth are everywhere in our society. Indeed, boasting has become commonplace in all areas of our society. In this passage from Jeremiah we are once again confronted with the challenge of humility, of understanding who we are in relation to God, rather than man.

Jeremiah tells us that there is but one thing that we can boast about and that is that God is the Lord of all. His Lordship is unlike that of any human kind. His is marked by kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth. We can only boast if we have come to understand the Lord in these terms. In knowing and understanding him in this way we realize that we, too, are called to be kind, just, and righteous in our own lives. When we understand this and know it with our lives, God takes delight in us. This is not boasting, it is a humble recognition that we are nothing without God.

If we recognize this about God and humbly choose to honor God by becoming kind, just, and righteous, in his name, our “boasting” will be seen in who we are, not in what we loudly and pridefully say about ourselves. Our boasting will be our lives lived well in the understanding and knowledge of God.

Jesus is our example. In him we see the nature of the Father, for Jesus was kind, just, and righteous in all that he did and said. And Jesus has called on us to do as he did. “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) It is only in honoring God with our lives that we will have anything to boast of before God and man. If we live and love as Jesus did, we will be recognized by our actions toward others. When we become kind, just, and righteous, in all that we say and do, that will be our boast. No bragging required. Our boast will be in our holy lives, not our words.

Lord, help us to understand you and to know your kindness, justice and righteousness more each day. Give us the graces we need to become what we know and understand of you. In this our boasting will be in you, not in ourselves. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.