The young man was trying to impress the young lady so he started bragging about his family History. He said, “My ancestors fought with General George Washington in the American Revolution. My ancestors fought with General Douglas McArthur in WWII. My grandfather fought with Norman Schwarzkopf in the Gulf War.” Finally, the young lady said, “It sounds to me like your family fights all the time!”
Besides the fact that the boy and girl failed to properly communicate, it can be concluded that some folks simply like to brag. It’s been said that the best way to brag is to not brag at all. In other words, let your life speak for itself. Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”
If a fellow has to tell you how wonderful he is then he is probably not at all that wonderful. If a person practices self-deprecation for the purpose of seeking a compliment, then that is also perceived as a violation of social norms. In short, bragging on self is just plain ugly!
Jesus taught that “blowing your own trumpet” (Matthew 6:1) is what the hypocrites do so “do not be like them” (Matthew 6:8a). Unfortunately, social media has become the very platform of much bragging.
It must be recognized that bragging takes on many forms. One popular form of bragging is for parents and grandparents to constantly boast about the successes of their children. This must be seen for what it is: another form of self-promotion!
The Bible teaches us to rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). However, we should exert great caution in declaring our victories lest we breed jealousy in others. Instead of seeking to be understood all the time, why not seek to understand? In the same vein, rather than seeking for others to celebrate our victories all the time, why not seek to celebrate the victories of others?
Christ did this!
Chris Kemp is pulpit minister at Northside church of Christ in Mayfield.