We’ve been discussing the true motivation of God toward mankind. We have looked at John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world”. He loved the world. That is why Jesus came, to put on display the love of God. In our quest to understand the motivation of God we need to determine who God is, that is, what His character is.
1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love”. 1 Corinthians 13 gives us the definition of love. It says that “love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails”.
Combining these references, we find ourselves asking how much of Christianity is missing something in the understanding and application of the love of God. We seem to believe that “God is love”. Yet, we actually have a serious disconnect with defining Him as love. Our definition is flawed, and thus, our presentation of God to the world is flawed. Is love boastful? Is God boastful?
To boast is to have excessive pride about one’s achievements, possessions or abilities. Pride is one of the most effective weapons our enemy uses against us. Ultimate idolatry is the love of self and all that accompanies self-promotion. Self-promotion almost always at the expense of loving and serving others.
1 Corinthians 1:31 says, “let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” To boast in the Lord is to put on display His character and to boast in our weaknesses for the purpose of loving, serving and elevating others. Human pride is at the root of comparison thinking and the judgement of others to be less than us. We live in a culture inundated with the pride of human achievements, possessions and social status. Without our boasting being grounded in the Lord, we are given to over valuing our own self-worth to the detriment of others. This opens the door to judging others critically. In doing this, we fall prey to the sin that took Lucifer down. He said, “I will be like God”. When we boast, we stand in the place of God in judging the motives and intents of other people’s hearts. The old saying goes like this – we judge others by our perception of their motives, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. s
So, is God boastful? The answer lies in how He chose to relate to us. He desired intimacy with man on such a level that He became a man. Laying aside His glory, He took on the lowliness of humanity and identified with every possible temptation to sin that man has ever or ever will face. He came as a servant and died as a criminal. He identified with the outcasts and rebellious. The life and death of Jesus is God not boasting!
He came to give us His life and has made us His sons. He has shared His glory with us. He has elevated us. He does not boast in His love for us, He has given us a love relationship with Him. He is love and we are loved.
Richard Hamm has been in ministry since 1977. He graduated from Rhema Bible College in 1984 and came to be the Pastor of New Life Family Church in the Gettysburg, PA area serving from 1985 to 2008. He is presently involved in a traveling ministry helping churches in south central PA, northern MD, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Tennessee. He can be contacted at 717-253-3247 or at email@example.com.