We're gonna have to take a little break on our Peace Series until we finish our 14 days of "Love Is...". So much to talk about we can't even fit it in! That sounds about normal for me.
Yesterday we talked about envy. That's being jealous of what someone else has. Today's subject is just about opposite. We're talking boasting and pride, the "I've got it and you don't so nanny nanny boo boo" syndrome. For those of you lacking higher vocabulary skills, nanny nanny boo boo is a technical term used to refer to great superiority and betterment. It is usually accompanied by the gestures of hands on the hips and the poking out of one's tongue. It is often seen on playgrounds, preschool classrooms and deep within our hearts.
Let's start with boasting. I'll tell you straight, in my best southernese. "It ain't purty. And it don't never work." Ever notice how people who brag and try to make themselves look big always ending up seeming small and shallow. Boasting always works counter to what the boaster is going for.
Truth is, I could say a lot of things about myself that sound pretty impressive. We all can. But a list of accomplishments or titles are empty without the character to back them up. The people who leave us saying "wow" are the ones who are commanding in their very presence, whose walk is evident without them saying a word to their own benefit.
We do have one license for boasting, unless we're boasting about what Christ has done for us. "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'" I Corinthians 1:26-31.
Boasting exposes our insecurities, unless we're boasting about our security in Christ. It's only through Him that we actually have something worth bragging about, and that's righteousness, holiness and redemption. And how sweet to know that He takes those things we think of as our insecurities and uses them to leave the ones we're fearful f scratching their heads and wondering about how it is that Christ makes such a difference. That's what leads others to seek Christ. The ones who never would have thought they needed Him.
Pride is the backside of boasting. The big, ugly, cellulite-infested backside. It doesn't come from a place of insecurity attempting to build itself up to feel accepted. No, it comes from feeling a little too good about oneself, with a terrible bent for tearing down others. Pride shakes its jiggly self all over our world today.
When we turn our noses up at others, when we hear ourselves saying "I sure am glad I'm not like...", or "I wouldn't be seen...", we can be fairly certain we're doin' the jiggly pride dance. Now I thought I was good on this one (is that prideful to say?). One of the things that my Granny told me that seemed to stick in my head was, "There's no one in this world better than you. But you're also no better than anyone else." (Unfortunately, there's a lot of people who only got the first part of that message.)
I'm not someone who is "uppity" or who tries to put on airs. I am who I am. I try to live out my belief. I've still got plenty of issues, I just didn't think pride was one of them. But you let somebody not like my cookin', and it's a different story. Apparently my cooking make me jiggly in more way than one.
We're prideful when we think of ourselves in bigger terms than others. But you know what the proverb says, we're settin' ourselves up for a fall. When we feel ourselves start jigglin' it's time for a heart check.
Boasting and being prideful both focus on self. And it's awful hard to love someone else when we're consumed with loving the one in the mirror.
Nope, love doesn't boast and it isn't proud.
And it doesn't jiggle.