TODAY’S WALKING IN FREEDOM! DEVOTIONAL
If you must brag (Pt. 1)
Written by Rhovonda L. Brown
(Originally posted: 7/10/13; revised/repost 5/10/16)
How often do you brag about your children or another person’s accomplishments? For me, I can’t help but brag about my children. They’re my seed, they came from me, and when they accomplish something small or great, I’m happy for them. Also, their accomplishments mean I’ve accomplished something too. I’m their parent who has nurtured them, guided and encouraged them to be all that they can be. I see the greatness in them; so when they succeed, I succeed! And I’m excited about it!
How often do you boast about yourself? Your salary, your title, your job or your talent? Well, I try not to brag too much, but at times, I can’t help it! It happens. For example, I bragged (not too much) when I lost about 20 lbs from doing boot camp and watching what I ate. I was so proud of myself, since all that hard work had paid off. In the past, when I’d work out in the gym, I didn’t see any results, but this time, I saw big results. So, I confess. I brag. I bragged when both my books made it on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List and when my second book made No. 1. To tell you the truth, I still brag a little about these accomplishments because I know it’s something hard to do, especially for first-time, self-published authors.
Now, ponder on these questions. Ever bragged about your weaknesses or your limitations? Do you celebrate your shortcomings and failures? How often do you rejoice and glory in your flaws? How often do you share your personal struggles with someone else? I’ll be honest with you. I don’t share my weaknesses, my struggles, or my shortcoming as much as I could or should. No one likes displaying any signs of weakness. (Well, I know I don’t!) Why? For fear of being criticized, judged, misunderstood or talked about. I don’t like sharing my limitations or my flaws because I don’t want to be looked at differently. However, sometimes, more times than I want, the Holy Spirit tugs at me to share and to be transparent. My goodness, it’s so hard! Of course, afterwards, Satan beats me up. He says things like, “What were you thinking! You just told all of your business! You shouldn’t have said that! You said too much! Now, what will they think of you?”
After I’ve shared my personal struggles, things that could have very well encouraged another person, the enemy comes to curse what God has blessed. Satan always does that! For opening up my mouth, Satan tries to make me feel ashamed and embarrassed for sharing my weaknesses. This is probably why most of us will not share our testimonies, for fear of the backlash.
In chapter 11 and 12 of 2 Corinthians, Paul bravely does what most leaders are too afraid to do and many avoid. He brags about his weaknesses. He could have bragged about being a great theologian who was a Pharisee and a son of a Pharisee. Paul could have boasted about the many churches he had planted and the mass number of souls he had converted into Believers. Paul could have proudly celebrated and bragged about all the great things God had done through him. Instead of boasting about his numerous accomplishments, Paul chose to brag about his weaknesses. Paul shares with the Corinthian church his struggles, his setbacks, his trials, his tribulations, and those things he experienced for the sake of Christ.
Paul says, “If I must brag, I will brag about the things that show I am weak” (2 Cor. 11:30, NCV). And why in the world would this great leader do such a crazy thing? Why talk about his weaknesses? Why share with others how flawed you are? Why open our mouths and disclose our imperfections and inadequacies? Here’s why:
“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Cor. 12:9b, NLT)
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During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to be a godly leader for Christ who is not ashamed to show her weaknesses.
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