1 Corinthians 13:4d- … it does not boast, it is not proud.
I think this is the exact opposite of being jealous. Instead of looking at others and thinking they are better than us, or that they have something we don't have, we look at others and think we are better than them. Boasting or bragging is just a way of showing pride. It’s saying look at me! Look at me! Look what I did, look what I can do, or look what I have. It’s seeking an earthly reward instead of waiting for a heavenly one…
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
I love this verse! If you think about it bragging or boasting is just a way of seeking approval of men. We want everyone to see what we are doing and be proud of us, or complement us. Paul wrote a lot about boasting in 2 Corinthians (chapters 10-12), he talked about how foolish it was and how foolish it made us look. Then he went on to say let whomever boasts, boast in the Lord (10:17) and that he would only boast in his weaknesses (12:9). After thinking about boasting I want to pray the words written in Galatians: “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.” (6:14)
Pride is spoken against many times in the Bible. There are so many Scriptures that talk about how much trouble it brings, boasting and bragging is just one way to show our pride. We can be prideful with our words, or even without ever speaking a word. We can be prideful by the way we look at others; it’s evident in our eyes. We can be prideful with our body language, with the way we respond to something someone says or does. We can even be prideful with our thoughts… We want people to recognize our good work without us telling them about it. We want them to acknowledge our hard work or what we did with our hair, and when they don’t we feel neglected or underappreciated, or possibly even unloved. That is solely our pride thinking, God says that He loves us no matter what. He also says that nothing we can do will earn us His love, or our salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
One of the signs that marks the last days is people becoming proud and boastful. In 2 Timothy 3 we are warned to stay away from such people. Not only is being around boastful and proud people annoying, it can rub off on us. We can get sucked in and try to compete with them. They say “look what I can do!” and we respond with “oh yeah, that’s cool, but look at what I can do!” It turns into a vicious cycle. When this happens sometimes I realize it right away, other times it takes me awhile. But I have always found the best way to handle it is to complement them and then walk away. Temptation can always be overcome with God’s help!
Basically, boasting and pride is loving ourselves, not loving others, and not showing love in any form or fashion. Do you have any thoughts about boasting or pride that you could share with me? I'd love to hear from you!