College Football Preseason rankings are coming out and fans everywhere are boasting of their team's place. Politicians are now taking the stage in debates - in front of the few people willing to watch this early - boasting of what they have done and making promises about what they will do.
What is a Christian to boast of? Our faith? The size of our churches? The reach of our missions around the world? Surely none of these. Instead, consider the words of Francis:
"I did not come to be served but to serve (see Matthew 10:28), says the Lord. Those who are placed over others should glory in such an office only as much as they would were they assigned the task of washing the feet of the brothers. And the more they are upset about their office being taken from them than they would be over the loss of the office of washing feet, so much the more do they store up treasures to the peril of their souls (see John 12:6).
Be conscious, O man (and woman), of the wondrous state in which the Lord God has placed you, for he created you and formed you to the image of his beloved Son according to the body, and to his likeness according to the spirit (see Genesis 1:26). And yet, all the creatures under heaven, each according to its nature, serve, know, and obey their Creator better than you. Even the demons did not crucify him, but you together with them have crucified him and crucify him even now by delighting in vices and sins.
In what then can you glory (or boast)? For if you were so subtle and wise that you had all knowledge (see 1 Corinthians 13:2) and knew how to interpret all tongues (see 1 Corinthians 12:28) and minutely investigate the course of the heavenly bodies, in all these things you could not glory, for one demon knew more about the things of earth than all men together, even if there may have been someone who received from the Lord a special knowledge of the highest wisdom. Likewise, even if you were more handsome and richer than everyone else and even if you performed wonders such as driving out demons, all these things would be an obstacle to you and none of them would belong to you nor could you glory in any of these things. But in this we can glory: in our infirmities (see 2 Corinthians 12:5) and bearing daily the holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (see Luke 14:27)."
- Francis of Assisi, also known as Saint Francis, was an early church leader who wrote short words of instruction to those who would follow him as he followed Jesus. This brief section of the longer Admonitions was written around 1200 CE.