Look at the trifecta of pride which plagues the human heart: wisdom, strength, and riches. When we boast in these, we increase and God decreases in our lives. What gives you security or comfort in this world? On what or whom do you rely? Trust only in God!
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
God knows us so well. Look at the trifecta of pride which plagues the human heart: wisdom, strength, and riches. We find comfort and we fuel our pride when we rely on these three things in our world. These attributes are esteemed and celebrated in society, both ancient and modern. They are timeless in their importance to humanity.
And so, why would God tell us to not boast in these things? The answer is that when we boast in these things (or any other) we rely on the Lord less. Remember John the Baptist saying that Jesus must increase and he decrease (John 3:30)? When we boast in wisdom, strength, or riches, we increase and God decreases in our lives. God does not become greater when we find other things on which to rely. He becomes less.
Boast only in the understanding to know God as Lord. He exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth. These are the things which delight the Lord. Not our strength or resilience. Not our wisdom or knowledge. Not our ability to earn or multiply money.
What gives you security or position or comfort in this world? On what or whom do you rely?
Be certain that if you find yourself comforted by one or all of this trifecta, your pride is growing and your reliance on God shrinking. Be careful here. Pride masquerades itself. Conceals itself. Pride will likely tell you that you are a follower of God, and so you shouldn’t be concerned about these areas. Pride will tell you these are things unbelievers deal with… Lies!
I see these issues play out in church around me. I see them in the family of God. I wrestle with all three. I want to be wise and to be seen as wise. I do not want to show any weakness – rather, I want to project confidence and resilience in all things. And I appreciate the security of a good income and savings. Each of these things picks at my reliance on God.
How about you?
Consider God and his love for you. Consider his faithfulness. Trust in God only and confess your struggle with the pride trifecta today.