For the first two weeks of February, EmpowerMoments will be doing a series entitled Love Is. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) We pray that you are EMPOWERED, enlightened, and blessed as our writers share what Love Is based on God’s Word!
Love does not boast. If that’s the directive then I am definitely guilty. See, I’ve read this scripture on numerous occasions but for some reason I think that I’ve glossed over this part. Many of us may not be honest about our boasting instead we like to say we are just “testifying,” “sharing our good news” and “giving God the glory.” I can recall being in conversation with someone and beginning to boast about things that I had done because I wanted them to know that they were not “better” than me. I wanted the edge. Protecting my ego and seeming important became greater than the conversation itself. In fact, many times it is our own feeling of inferiority that makes us boast. We begin to compensate for what we truly lack. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 KJV
Are you guilty? Boasting is flaunting. It’s flaunting our accomplishments, our stuff, and our positions to those who do not have them and thinking of ourselves as more important because of it. We live in a status driven society that is exacerbated by social media and celebrity culture. Achievement is not the issue nor is having stuff but we become boastful when we decide that these things make us superior. We develop a spirit of arrogance. Contrary to the scripture, our mouth becomes full of our own praise. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. (Proverbs 27:2 KJV)
As I reflect on this more, I can come up with a list of real world examples of boasting. Often I hear people tout their credentials (college, degree, certifications); their material possessions such as houses, cars and fashion labels; their finances; and even their marriage and children. There is nothing wrong with discussing these things but when they are used to make you seem important and others inferior then it becomes boasting. Many Christians boast of their Christianity to make themselves appear more enlightened or closer to God than others; however, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
When we are following Jesus’ example of love, we focus on others more than ourselves. Our love reflects outward. We listen more and talk less. We give more and receive less. It’s difficult to show others love when we allow our egos to give us a sense of superiority. Does this mean that one should walk around downtrodden? Absolutely not; but humility goes a long way. We are told to Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 KJV) If we are about the work of the Father, people will notice and recognize that it is only through Him that we have achieved these things. He will get the glory, as He should.
Please forgive me for boasting. Forgive the times when I have let my ego guide my tongue rather than Your spirit. Help me to remember that it is not me but You that have given me everything that I have. Instill in me a spirit of true love so that my focus will be on doing Your will, Your way. If there be any feeling of superiority in me remove it and increase my humility. When I don’t realize I’m boasting, Lord quickly convict me. Help me to love as Christ loved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to check your spirit. Are you innocently sharing or are you boasting? Some people say “if you got, it flaunt it” but that spirit is not in alignment with the way we are called to love. Evaluate what triggers your “need” to boast. Is it your own feeling of inferiority? Remember that we learn in the book of James, … the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (3:5 NIV) Even when it’s difficult and your ego wants to jump in and begin to boast, choose love instead.
How has boasting impacted you? After reading this, do you need to make changes?
Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.