DayBreaks for 01/18/2019: The Braggart
From the DayBreaks archive, January 2009:
I recently took a “fun” quiz that was forwarded around on the Internet, and one of the questions was to name a characteristic that you hate. I have to admit that I struggled with that one. I don’t enjoy being around complainers (fortunately, there are very few of those in my life!) or those who are always trying to impress someone with their talk or wisdom. Maybe that’s because I can get easily confused and I’m not smart enough to follow their big words. People who are always talking “big talk” to impress are generally very insecure people, and they remind me of this rather humorous story:
A man was driving through the countryside when suddenly his car stalled. He got out to see what was wrong, and as he bent over the motor, he heard a voice say, ‘That trip to Japan was wonderful last spring.’ He looked around but saw no one. All he could see was an old horse standing in the meadow. The horse looked straight at him and said, ‘Yes, that trip was almost as good as the one to Paris and Rome the year before.’
Well, the man became almost hysterical with excitement. He ran to the farmhouse at the edge of the meadow, pounded on the door, took out his billfold and said, ‘I want to buy that horse at any price.’ Calmly, the farmer replied, ‘Oh, you mustn’t pay too much attention to that horse. He hasn’t been to half the places he talks about.’
Why is it that we have such a strong tendency to promote ourselves and talk about ourselves in ways that are intended to do nothing but try to impress others? I think James 3:13-16 gives us some really good clues: If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise! But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil.
Bottom line: we either are bragging about the good things we do (and why would we do that? – to get the praise of humans!), OR we are jealous and full of selfish ambition and so we brag about what we’ve done and how good we are – the “worst kind of lie” as James put it. Such things are not motivated by God or by trying to bring Him glory, but by the Devil!
How much better off we’d be if no one was trying to impress others!!!! Let us be content to be what and who God created us to be. When we live that way, we bring Him glory!
PRAYER: Father, may we trust in You to honor those who are genuine in Your time and may we not pursue the praise of other humans. Help us to be content to be what You have made us to be! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>