Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.”  James 3:15-16  MSG

Remember when teachers assigned group projects to build teamwork in elementary, junior, and high school?  As a high achiever, I hated them because all the members of the group would receive the same grade.  All the work would be performed by one or two kids.  On the day of presenting the results, the kids who tried to take credit were the ones who did little or nothing.  

Such boasting may have succeeded in school, but it didn’t work out well in some Old Testament stories.  You’ll recall Saul and David.  Saul served as king of Israel, but he became jealous and fearful of David, and desired to have him killed.  On two separate occasions, David had the clear opportunity to assassinate Saul.  He decided against it, however, as he viewed Saul as God’s anointed one.  At the end of 1 Samuel, we learn that Saul and his Israeli army fought against the Philistines and lost badly.  Instead of being captured by the Philistines, Saul ordered his armor-bearer to kill him.  He refused, so Saul committed suicide.  

In 2 Samuel we learn that a young man arrived before David and reported Saul’s death.  He claimed that Saul had asked him to kill him, and he complied.  He boasted about doing something he had not done, not realizing that in the Saul and David feud, while Saul had wanted David dead, David had no intent of ever harming Saul.  He had bragged in hope of gaining David’s favor, since it was widely believed that David would be the next king.  The response proved swift and decisive, as David ordered the young man’s execution.  

Boasting is an exaggerated claim to bolster one’s self-worth and be viewed more favorably by others.  The Bible teaches us that it’s not wise and leads to discord.  All of us know people who are world-class boasters, and we don’t want to spend much time around them.  

If pride is the greatest sin, I suggest that humility may be the greatest virtue.  This characteristic is the exact opposite of being boastful, and it’s one we should cultivate.  

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for the lessons taught in your holy word.  Amen. 

Last Modified on July 2, 2018
This entry was posted in Daily Devotional
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