Proud Boasts

by Laura Courtney
Love does not boast. It is not proud.

Let me start by saying I believe there is a difference between being proud of something you’ve accomplished (finishing a long house project, getting a good grade on a test you studied hard for, feeling good about something you did), but then there is being proud of yourself over others. I believe the vice comes into play when you start comparing yourself to others and building up your own self-esteem at the expense of others.

Again, social media these days makes it all too easy for us. When everyone is posting the “best of” things in their life and, if we’re being honest, when we stage our photos to make ourselves, our home, our family, etc. look more ideal and “perfect” than what the reality is… this is where we hit an issue as Christians.

If you spent all morning cleaning your house and want to capture the result before your 4 kids run into the house and destroy it all again – I don’t think Jesus would have an issue with that.

But if you are comparing your home to others and, even a little deeper, if you are posting pictures of your home with the intent to cause envy or to one-up those around you – I’m pretty sure Jesus would say think again.

Our society today seems to encourage us to hinge on pride and boasting. The term “virtue signaling” is used to describe how our public action or statement of opinion demonstrates our good character or correctness over others.

Again, there is a difference in motive and intent. Sharing about how your business, company, outreach services, etc. can help others in need is not boasting. Sharing about how you helped someone else in order to make others think more highly of you is.

When we give, help, and serve others just for our own glory, benefit, and public appearance we are no longer loving like Christ or living for Christ. We are loving ourselves and living for this world.

Christ declared in Matthew 6, that we are to “be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)

We are called to serve. We are called to give; to help, to share, to encourage and to love. But it can be so easy to get caught up in the traps of pride and self-righteousness that we forget our motivation and the true One who deserves the praise.

Help others as you can – but do it to share the gospel and love of Christ, not for more heart reactions on social media. Give to your church, to your charity and the nonprofits that you have a passion for – but don’t go bragging about your generosity to others for your own benefit.

There can be a fine line we walk as Christians in today’s world. But Love has stated it plainly that we are not to boast and brag. We are not to diminish others for our own gain. More so this calls for a hard look at our motives, our intentions and our heart towards the things we do and say.  May we seek His leading and guidance as we strive to love and serve those around us.

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