Of What Shall I Boast

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Of What Shall I Boast, If Not My Weakness, My Poverty? – 2 Colossians 11:30

We think of boasting as something negative, or as something prideful. This is why this passage may, at first, seem strange to us. If asked this question we might, as Christians, respond by saying something like, “Nothing. In all humility, I know that I can boast of nothing.” But there is something very worthy in Paul’s statement here. And it is, paradoxically, the result of a very humble insight.

The truth, the reality, is that we are weak, and we are poor in relationship to God. It is our weakness, our sinfulness, that makes us poor. It is because of our poverty that Jesus took on our humanity, entered into it lovingly, generously, and mercifully in order to give us a treasure beyond human measure; salvation from our “weakness” and our “poverty”. After all, a soul forgiven and made pure through God’s mercy, is far more precious than mere gold.

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If we are honest with ourselves, how could we be anything else but poor? The material wealth that the world offers, with all of its trappings and supposed powers and freedoms, is as nothing, in comparison to the wealth that the humble, contrite and forgiven soul finds in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a wealth that cannot be taken away. It will not rust, nor can it be lost. The soul that has recognized its weakness and its poverty is a soul prepared to receive the only treasure worthy of a human soul. We do not put our faith in material wealth, nor in earthly power. Our faith is in God alone. Our wealth is in God’s generous love and mercy. Of this, and only this, can we boast. Thanks be to God!

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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.