“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me…” (Jeremiah 9:23-24a)
Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself, some things that are a big hit down here are old news in Heaven. A revered philosopher, a super-athlete, or a multi-millionaire may gain praise and ovation in this life, but he’ll be doing good if he can draw even polite applause from the saints in Glory. We earth dwellers (Christians included) are so easily impressed, after all. Singers who can’t sing, celebrities whose lives are less than celebratory, politicians without core values, and pulpiteers passing off as preachers—these and others are held up as examples and gloried in.
God is not saying (nor am I) that the attributes mentioned in verse 23 are questionable in themselves. On the contrary, wisdom, might, and riches can be found among Bible saints (Solomon, Joshua, and Abraham, respectively). None of them will get you to Heaven or ensure a living relationship with God, however; and for this reason, on balance, they’re not much to brag about.
Well, what can we glory in, then? Jeremiah, anticipating our question, as it were, has told us that the only thing worth glorying in is a vibrant, knowledgeable relationship with God. Here now is something to legitimately admire in others and acknowledge with satisfaction in ourselves. We may not know all things but we can know and understand what is most important: God. If the wisdom I have is “from above” (James 3:17); and my true might is “in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24); and I am rich with the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph.3:8), then I have a whole lot to glory in.
And, by the way, so do you.