73 BoastingPosted: September 5, 2013
The fifth secret to finding humility is: Learning not to boast.
Now, brothers and sisters, I’ve applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be a puffed up follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? I Corinthians 4:7
Our hearts may feel empty and alone. We try to fill ourselves with positive thoughts, but they don’t make us feel better. We proceed to compare ourselves with others. We may feel a little better, but comparison leads to pride and an inflated view of self. Pride, at least, feels better than its flip side, shame. We have learned to boast to keep ourselves in this “up” state. This pride truly locks us into shame. Humility helps us find genuine freedom.
We can so easily fall back into boasting. Shouldn’t we get credit for the good we do? We try to combat our shame by feeling good about our accomplishments but to no avail. Instead, we need to take the path of humility so as to find relief from our shame. If we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. (I Pet. 5:6) We need to trust Him. (Prov. 29: 25)
We don’t even realize when we boast because it has become a habit. It comes naturally. We don’t think about our boastful thoughts as we constantly compare ourselves to others. We rate ourselves based on these comparisons.
Alternatively, we can commend others. We need to avoid our tendency to laud ourselves. We need to look for the contributions others bring, tell them how they have enhanced the world around them and thank them for these contributions. Instead of craving accolades let’s give them. “Love your neighbor as yourself…and in humility value others above yourselves.” (Matthew 22:39…Philippians 2:3 emphasis mine) Keep in mind, if no one repays the favor, great! We then have an opportunity to humble ourselves.
Above all, we need to give the highest tribute to God. He is the Author of everything good. (James 1:17) Giving God worship, praise and thanksgiving will go against our tendency to credit ourselves. Any qualities we possess (intelligence, attractiveness, athletic prowess, musicality and other talents), we received as gifts from God.
Acknowledging my tendency to boast,
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