Monday, February 27, 2012

Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord!

Who makes you superior and sets you apart from another, giving you the preeminence? What have you that was not given to you? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you had not received but had gained it by your own efforts? 1 Corinthians 4:7

Aboard any ship there are certain levels of authority. Unless a commodore or admiral was on board, the captain was always at the top.The levels beneath him depended on what type of ship it was. If it was a navy ship, there were first, second and third lieutenants, the midshipmen, master's mates, boatswains, pursers, chaplains, surgeons, gunners and then ordinary seaman. Every person had certain skills, talents and were assigned duties and responsibilities. When everyone obeyed and preformed their job, the ship sailed magnificently. But if not. . .

Well, it became much like a pirate ship.  You see by nature pirates were greedy fellows who craved not only gold but power. Exhibiting human nature at it's basest, they hated it when someone else had more of either. Fights often broke out on board pirate ships over power and wealth and more often than not mutinies were staged against the captain.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made  Psalm 139: 13-14
God gave each of us specific talents. Before we were even born, he infused them in our being for a purpose, a plan he had devised for our lives. Some of us have a talent for acting, singing, writing. Some for managing, cleaning, organizing, caring, comforting, helping, analyzing, creating, fixing.  The thing is, no one talent is more important the the other. It is the world and our culture which glamorizes certain talents. A person with a talent for acting or sports is highly esteemed in our culture, while someone with a talent for caring for the elderly and poor never gets any recognition.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul noted that some of them were thinking more highly of themselves than they should have. They were bragging about their knowledge and who they studied the Scriptures under and who was better than who. They were becoming pirates! And Paul had to put a stop to it.  He had to give them a huge dose of reality. And that reality was. Whatever talents or knowledge you have, it was given to you by God. You didn't get any of it on your own. So how can you brag about something someone else gave you?

Have you ever thought about that? That famous Hollywood star was given her talent for acting. That famous football hero was given his talent for sports. Yes, they worked hard to perfect it, but it was a gift from God. How sad that most of them use the talents God gave them to make millions and promote themselves as being above others!  

And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability. Matt 25:15

You may not think God gave you very many talents. In fact, you may be wondering if He gave you any at all! But He did. If you don't know what they are, ask Him to reveal them to you. Maybe your talent is simply to be a good Mom and raise Godly children. Maybe you have a talent for knitting, computers, baking cookies! Whatever it is, work hard to perfect it and then use it for God's glory!  Thank God everyday for your talents and always remember that they were given to you. You didn't earn them. You didn't deserve them. And never let your talents go to your head. Never start boasting about them and looking down on others.

Because in the end. we will all be called to give an account to God of what we did with our talents. You may be standing beside that movie star who did nothing but glorify herself, but God will turn to you and smile and place a crown of jewels upon your head and tell you, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Matt 25:21

Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:31


  1. Oh, to hear those words one day. Great post, MaryLu. I totally agree with what you said. Thank you for practicing what you preach. Not many authors are as open with their readers the way you are. You are a true blessing to me and others.

  2. Well said, Mary Lu! Thanks for this word of encouragement!

  3. Mon Feb 27th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Another excellent post ! Especially in light of 'the Oscars', of last night. I am NO movie star, nor would I want to be !
    Whatever giftings I have ... I totally realize and understand they are from the Lord. (Just have to learn how to best use them.)
    Thanks again for this great reminder.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him,
    Brenda Hurley

  4. Wonderful post, MaryLu! Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement. This is not something I have spent much time thinking about!

  5. Thanks, Ladies! So glad the Lord encouraged you this morning through this post. Funny thing.. I wrote this several weeks ago.. and scheduled it for today, not realizing it was the day after the Oscars. Isn't God wonderful?

  6. Awesome post, Marylu. Thank you so much for this. :)

  7. LOOOVE this post, MaryLu!!!!! I always enjoy your posts and pictures, but this one really got my attention and blessed me TREMENDOUSLY. Great message and truly appreciated :) Blessings!!

  8. Thanks, Sheri.. And Kara, so glad the post blessed you. You blessed me with your excitement! Hugs..

  9. Amazing post, MaryLu. Thanks. ^_^

  10. Here is a quote.

    "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single talent left and could say, "I used everything You gave me."'
    Erma Bombeck

    Have a great day!

  11. Excellent quote.. Jennie! Thank you for sharing it. :-)

  12. Great post! Just what I needed to hear! We all need to boast in God only, rather than ourselves. Besides, without him, we're nothing anyway, so what's there to boast about? From now on I'm going to pay special attention to whether or not I'm using my talents humbly and for the glory of God! Thanks for the reminder! :)

  13. You're speaking my heart's message, MaryLu!

    Who you are was proceeded by God's need to have something done, specifically by you. He created your strengths and weaknesses, your personality, your passions, your abilities, to fit an exact need that He needs you to do. Yes, you are needed. Yes, you have a purpose. Yes, "before (God) formed you in the womb (he) knew you, before you were born (he) set you apart" Jeremiah 1:5. Isn't that cool?! Before he made who you are, he had a plan for who you would be, what you could do; giving you a gift set to reach His people as only YOU can.

    Love it!

  14. Exactly, Emily. We are nothing without God! That leaves no room for boasting.

    Joleen, Amen.. I couldn't have said it better!

  15. MaryLu, I love all of your posts, but this one is especially good! :) I have always thought it wrong that the athletes and actors get all the recognition and earn lots of money while pastors, nurses, vets, firemen, police, military, etc... all the "helpful" occupations, get close to nothing! But it's great that they will be recognized in Heaven! I guess this is just an example of how the world is as opposed to how it should be.

    LifeDance - love what you said!! I'm going to remember that :)