May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. – Galatians 6:14
When I was in high school, I placed second in a computer competition at the state conference for Future Business Leaders of America. Usually only the first-place winner moves on to the national competition, but he couldn’t make the trip. So the state organization asked me to compete in his place.
With some funding from my school and my grandma, I flew to Washington, D.C. for the national conference. The competition was tough but I felt confident. I ended up placing eighth.
Of course, I had wanted to place first, but eighth felt great. Eighth place in the whole country sounded really good. My chest puffed with pride as I gloried in my accomplishment. Before the national competition, the local newspaper published an article about me with the headline: “Calculating Lad: Handicapped Computer Whiz Has Point to Prove.”
The point I wanted to prove was that having a physical disability does not mean you cannot accomplish great things. After placing eighth nationally, I felt I had proved my point. Oh, how I flushed with pride whenever I looked at my award plaque hanging on my bedroom wall!
The apostle Paul had a lot he could glory in too. He could brag about his heritage as an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin. He could take pride in his strict observance of the law. He could impress others with his study under the great Jewish teacher Gamaliel.
Perhaps he did glory in these things at one time. But later in life Paul said, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14a).
Paul gloried in the Cross. How foolish that must have seemed to some! “He glories in an instrument of death? Is he sick?”
Paul didn’t glory in just any instrument of death, though. He gloried in the cross of Jesus Christ. In that wooden cross where Jesus Christ took all the sins of the world upon Himself and paid the penalty with His own blood. In that wooden cross where Jesus Christ enabled us to have a relationship with the almighty God. In that wooden cross where Jesus Christ showed ultimate love by dying for you and me. Paul gloried that while he was yet a sinner, Christ died for him.
What do you glory in? Do you glory in your accomplishments? In your looks? In your checkbook balance? In your ancestry? Perhaps you glory in what church you attend. Or in how modestly you dress.
We should glory in nothing except the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. All else fades in comparison.