For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast.
People sometimes wonder why it is so important to God that we not boast. Does he want to hog the spotlight? So much of our earthly experience tells us that people who can’t stand boasting are usually prideful people. And so, some foes of the Faith occasionally make this silly charge against God. But they overlook the fact that we see from below what God sees from above. We are like children in a schoolyard, comparing our marbles and struggling for dominance in a silly little arena of competition. A Teacher comes to us and tells us there is a whole world where nobody cares who owns steelies and who owns cat eyes. He tells us of a place where the whole basis of life is entirely different, where you don’t have to sweat and strain to win and be top dog, where marbles don’t enter into the picture and people love each other rather than plotting to steal each other’s marbles. He tells us it’s all rooted in the free love of God for us, who need nothing and gives everything in love. At that point there are two ways of responding to the Teacher. We can believe him and follow him as he walks away from the game. Or we can suspiciously and provincially assume that since Life is Marbles, the Teacher must just be jealous of our steelies and trying to get us to drop our marbles and follow him so that he make a grab for them and hog them all. The first approach is called “growing up.” The latter is called “loving this world.” Today, let us grow up in Christ, entering into his life of love and freed from the love of this world and from the need to boast ourselves. There is nothing we have that is not his good gift.