Read Jeremiah 9:23-24
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken! (NLT)
When we look back on our lives, we can find much to regret and much to encourage. We can be rightfully thankful for what we have achieved, the problems we have overcome, the relationships we have forged. There is no shame, either, in recognising a measure of material prosperity, a level of education, career success.
And yet our passage today reminds us that there is no room for proud boasting. Such boasting is about attributing all our successes to our own efforts, leaving God out of the picture. Such boasting makes thankful recognition become self-centred pride. We may have achieved much and be properly thankful for it. But we dare not leave God out of the picture and dare not assume that this is the essence of our life.
Jeremiah tells us that the essence of life is our relationship with the living God. Having a grasp of who he is, and allowing him to shape our life. When we look back and reflect on all we have done, may it be that this one thing stands out among all others. I may take some legitimate ‘pride’ in various achievements, but one thing above all will sum up my life. I have known this God and in faltering ways have come to delight in him.