Adults tell kids not to do it, but do it themselves. Brag. Tis the season for bragging.
“I’m finished all my Christmas shopping.”
“I got a 50” TV for Christmas.”
“We have the most outdoor Christmas lights in the neighborhood.”
“I bake the best cookies—ever!”
Moms raising kids with mental illness (MI) could brag about other things:
“I survived another day with my own sanity intact.”
“In return for unprovoked anger, I answer with gentleness.”
“In spite of physical abuse, I show unconditional love.”
“Even though my spouse abandoned our child, I remained to face his illness together with him”
“Without any end in sight, my faith in the Lord remains strong.”
“I’ve worked harder at parenting without any support or compassion (due to the stigma of MI).”
“I’ve endured silent sorrow for years, longing to see my child’s smile once again.”
What would be the point of that kind of bragging?
Boasting inflates. Instead of boasting about life with MI, we can boast about God. That will reveal His power, while uplifting our spirit.
May your heart swell with renewed hope as you read these verses:
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. (Psalm 34:1-2 NKJV)”
“In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever (Psalm 44:8).”
“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).”
“But, ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:17).’”
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9).”
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, in these I delight, ‘declares the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23-24).”
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2).”
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).”
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).’”
“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace (2 Corinthians 1:12).”
“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—(Philippians 3:3).”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4).”
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith (Philippians 3:7-9).”
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).”
I love the story in 1 Kings 18:24-38 where Elijah boasted about God’s power:
“‘Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.’
“Then all the people said, ‘What you say is good.’
“Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.’ So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
“Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. ‘Baal, answer us!’ they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
“At noon Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
“Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come here to me.’ They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, ‘Your name shall be Israel.’ With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, ‘Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.’
“‘Do it again,’ he said, and they did it again.
“‘Do it a third time,’ he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
“At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.”
Our awesome God answered Elijah’s prayer and displayed His power. And turned everyone’s heart back to God.
“When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God (1 Kings 18:39)!’”
The Lord—He is God! Amen!!!