«He who glories, let him glory in the Lord» (2 Corinthians 10:17).
THE STORY IS TOLD of an imaginary dialogue between a lion and other animals in the jungle. The lion was doing some research by asking a very basic question: ‘Who is the king of the jungle?»
In each case, it would precede its question with a roar. Among the interviewees was a monkey, a zebra, a turtle, and an elephant. One by one, fearfully but showing no doubt, they answered, «The lion is the king of the jungle.» Until it was the elephant’s turn. Using its trunk, it grabbed the lion by the tail and spun it around several times before throwing it into a muddy puddle. Hurt, humiliated, and dirty, the lion got up and with a dignified look, answered, «The fact that you didn’t know the right answer doesn’t justify so much anger.»
This story is not so fictional . . . when human beings are involved. It would seem that we more than enough reasons (real or imaginary) to boast about ourselves. Many people like a certain soccer team or a team from another sport. I have heard several say, «we won» and «we are champions,» when in reality, those who say that have done absolutely nothing.
Although there is no place for boasting, Paul does show us something in which we can glory: God. In that regard, Paul glories that he was the first one in reaching them with the gospel; acting as the apostle to the Gentiles.
It is acceptable to boast about doing the work entrusted by God and fulfilling His mission. It is not about glorying ourselves, but about glorifying God and His love, which transforms lives.
«Let us serve Him faithfully as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teachings as our Prophet. Let us work diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming Redeemer» (John C. Ryle).
But above all, let us give Him the honor He deserves as our sacrifice and let us rest completely in His death as an atonement for sin. More than any other thing that would delight us in respect to Christ, we should delight above all in His cross (Gal. 6:14).
The Lord Himself provided an example through the prophet Jeremiah:
«Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord» (Jer. 9:23, 24).
Every time you think yourself to be a lion, remember the elephant.