This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches.” —Jeremiah 9:23
Wisdom, strength, and riches are the three goals that the world passionately pursues. Anyone who achieves status in one of these three areas is celebrated as someone great by those in the world. Such pursuit, however, leads to three main areas of sin: intellectual pride, lustful passion, and greed.
Jeremiah warned that a wise man shouldn’t boast of his wisdom any more than a strong man should boast of his strength or a rich man of his wealth. Why? Because those wise, strong, and rich men produced none of those characteristics in their lives. It was God alone who gave them whatever wisdom, strength, or riches they possess.
Paul reminded the Colossians, “For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We must put to death the proud mind of man that flatters and exalts himself in his own eyes. We must crucify the sinful desires of the flesh, such as “sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires” (v. 5). Furthermore, we cannot “be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry”
If we boast of anything in this world, it should only be the awesome fact that we understand and know the Lord personally. In everything else, let us put on humility, purity, and generosity. The world may not appreciate us when we do, but in God’s eyes we will be pursuing true wisdom, strength, and riches!
Jeremiah 8:8-9:26 Colossians 3:1-17 Psalm 78:32-55 Proverbs 24:27