Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let Those who Boast, Boast In This


“Thus says the LORD: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the LORD; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the LORD.”

~Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NRSV).

There are certain features of character that give us away to the will of our own hearts, despite what God has planned for us and to those ends. One of these things is boasting; of our resources, abilities and wise schemes accomplished.

Boasting of our own like this reveals that not only has God not been counted in the spectre of things, but it reveals our lack also, as we grapple with this felt need to be affirmed by our world.

And, still, God is our best affirmer.

A Simple Boast

Imagine the reality if, individually, our only boast was to be, “I understand and know the Lord.”

Even if we could say it we probably wouldn’t—our actions would do the boasting for us. Indeed, our actions of faithfulness, compassion and kindness would well surpass our own wants; they’d demonstrate perfectly that—for that moment—we did truly understand and know the Lord, which is a conditional reality.

It is conditional upon our investment of focus in God, which for any human being is only fleeting. Our goal is to join these fleeting moments up to produce a chain of devoted moments to our God.

Whenever we delight in God’s true love, justice and righteousness on this earth, we agree with God and we understand and know God. We are at one with God.

Just let us not be easily fooled as to what this means, for there are many who claim to understand and know God who—via their separatist deeds—‘speak’ to the contrary.

Those who truly know and understand the Lord will live by this creed:

“... and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?”

~Micah 6:8b-d (NRSV).

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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