Does it count for much?
As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
How many times do you hear someone brag about what they have accomplished and wonder why they find it necessary to boast so much about such a small thing? Truth be told, I have been amongst the braggarts on occasion! Not a pretty sight. Boasting is really for the purpose of calling attention to oneself. As a young person, I thought unless people were always paying attention to you, they didn't like you. My bragging actually drove them away, not closer! Now, it goes without saying, if I catch the big fish on that next fishing outing, I am holding it high, but I don't do it to 'call attention' to my 'angling expertise'. I am just jazzed to have snagged one! Sometimes we 'call attention' to our accomplishments in quite an innocent fashion, while at others, it is to get some kind of praise from someone else.
When people commend themselves - is it possible some may actually 'commend themselves' because they don't hear any praise from any other source? Someone raised in that kind of environment, constantly badgered or put down by another, may actually 'hunger' for some form of recognition or praise. Maybe we can understand some form of bragging when that is the case, but even when no one else around you recognizes your extreme worth or values your input in this world, God does! Nothing we do ever escapes his notice, and I will tell you this for certain - a 'pat on the back' from God is ten times more rewarding than one from some stranger on this earth. God's recognition goes beyond the praises of the moment, or even the high five of success. It ministers to our spirit and nourishes our soul.
Mom used to remind me it was not my responsibility to 'tell others how good I am', but to live in such a way that the goodness is evident. Maybe that is what Paul is reminding us of this morning - live in a way that requires no amount of 'bragging' in order for the evidence of God's work within to be noticed. In another passage, we are reminded it is good to hear God's, "Well done, my good and faithful servant", when we cross over from this life into the next. I imagine we will all find such delight in those words of praise - much, much more than those accolades we receive on this earth. Just sayin!