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  • Dr. Jackie Minor

PERMISSION TO BOAST


Boasting isn’t a word many of us embrace, and rightfully so. Those who boast are often seen as prideful and self-absorbed, traits no one wants to portray. As believers, we are warned in the Scriptures against boasting about ourselves (Jeremiah 9:23, James 4:13-16); however, we are given permission to boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31). So what are you boasting about these days? Are you boasting at all? If not, I want to give you something to boast about, something God has reminded me of recently. Are you ready? Wait for it…


CHANGE!


I’m not referring to change in our environment or our circumstances. I’m referring to change in us personally – our hearts, our mindsets, and our behaviors. I’m talking about our spiritual growth in the Lord. Summer is a great time for us to refresh, rejuvenate, and reflect on where we’ve been, how we’ve grown, and areas we can improve upon.


I must admit I’m not very good at this process. I always start with areas of improvement. For some reason, my thoughts are drawn to where I fall short. I don’t take the time to truly look back and see how far I have come. I’m realizing what a mistake this is.

Day by day God has been doing a work in my life; He is changing me. The process has been slow and gradual, but I’m not the same person spiritually I was five years ago. I suspect we’ve all heard the statement, “I’m not where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!” Taking time to reflect on our spiritual growth is invigorating and empowers us to acknowledge God’s transforming power in our lives. Now that is something to boast about!


Do you know what? The enemy does not want you to claim your areas of growth. He wants you to stay trapped in the past. He wants you to believe that the areas you struggled with in the past are still controlling you in the present. Satan wants us to stay quiet while he tries to convince us we will never change. We can’t give him that power. It’s time to boast in the Lord!


What does it actually sound like to boast in the Lord? How do we proclaim that a transformation is taking place? See if any of these statements resonate with you.


· I used to be self-centered, always thinking about myself first. Although I falter at times, I now recognize I am putting others’ needs ahead of my own.


· I used to be so concerned about what others thought of me. I spent so much time trying to impress others with my actions. Now, my first desire is to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting as I seek to please God, not others. Don’t get me wrong, I want others to like me, but this is no longer my driving force.


· I used to struggle with unforgiveness. If someone hurt me, it was hard to let it go. By God’s grace, I have learned to forgive and forgive quickly, releasing others from owing me anything. I don’t harbor resentment.


· I used to want to control everything. It was as if my actions were required to make life run smoothly. I am no longer that way. My need to control has given way to my trust in God’s sovereignty and divine providence.


I could go on, but it’s your turn. Take a moment and think about yourself. How have you grown? How has God been transforming your life? I’m giving you permission to boast!


Maybe you are reading this blog knowing that you have grown but wanting more. You want to experience a new level of spiritual transformation in your life. I know I do. I want to fully embrace 2 Corinthians 3:18.


And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


There is so much we could unpack in this verse. but I want us to focus on three key insights.


  • Belief. Unbelief acts as a veil over our hearts and mind. If we are going to be changed, we have to remove the veil of unbelief. First and foremost, we must believe God has the power to change us when we fully surrender to him. We CAN change!


  • Glory. As believers, we strive to reflect God’s glory by becoming more like Jesus in our attitudes, actions, character, and conduct. This is a process that continues throughout our lifetime. Growth is an expectation in the life of a believer. We CAN grow!


  • Transformation. We cannot transform ourselves. Transformation is made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we are obedient to God’s Word and habitually seek Him in all things (Galatians 5:16). God is in the transformation business. We CAN boast in Him!


If you aren’t growing like you want or if you want to deepen your spiritual maturity, I want to remind you of something I recently read in 1 John.


But you have an anointing from the Holy One [you have been set apart, specially gifted and prepared by the Holy Spirit], and all of you know [the truth because He teaches us, illuminates our minds, and guards us from error]. 1 John 2:20 (AMP)


Isn’t this verse powerful?! Sometimes I think we make this transformation process too complicated. God has given us everything we need to change. It’s up to us. Remember who you are.


More than anything, I want this blog to make you stop and realize the work God has done and is doing in your life. Take some time this summer to reflect on how you’ve grown and how God is transforming you into the likeness of Jesus. Oh yes, He is! I’m giving you permission to boast!


As it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

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