But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… Galatians 6:14
The scope of this desire of Paul was total. It meant that he would not accept any praise for any achievement by his ministry – the praise was entirely due to Jesus. How subtle is the human heart, that we are tempted to feel smug and conceited that we have come to such an unselfish frame of mind! It is even possible that someone might declare the cross of Christ with such skill and passion that they receive accolades for their cross-centred preaching! If we claim to boast in the cross alone, then we are not actually seeking anything for ourselves, but only for Him. We are praying not that God will anoint my ministry, but the ministry. We are praying not that God will bless my Church but His Church. There is something so liberated about Paul’s life, that he was not building a reputation for himself, but for the gospel of Christ and Him crucified. Let go of all your ambitions to be recognised and applauded. You will be applauded anyway (and persecuted!), for it cannot be otherwise that, when Christ is glorified, our faces glow and our lives pulse with joy and purpose. Such people stand out from the crowd, but in their hearts they continually remember that it is not them, it is Christ living in them.
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