1. We want to boast
We like to boast and also want to boast. We pride our knowledge. It is a great honor to know something that others do not know. We are very proud to be able to solve difficult math problems. We boast of our clothes, and we also have our bags. We boast about our computers and smartphones. We boast about our car and house. You boast of your children, your husband or your wife. Our proudness is endless, and we want to boast of our academic achievements, and to boast of making a lot of money. We boast of a good place where we went on trip. We boast of popularity of oneself. The world we live in cannot endure without boasting. What we boast about is a strategy to survive this world. This is also our understanding of the world.
What do we want to gain from our boast?
It is reputation and respect: "I am a decent person. I am a great person. " Maybe you are expressing your desire to be loved by others. I do not know if you are saying that. 'I am a man worthy enough to be loved.' That's because we want to be people who are recognized and loved.
So, I think that we should be proud of ourselves.
2. Why should not you boast?
What does the Bible say?
Even if we look at the Bible text only today, we can see a different story. The Lord says to us, 'Do not boast.' The Lord also tells us what we boast. He told us very precisely what we should boast about and what we should not boast about.
He told us not to boast about our wisdom, bravery, and riches. What the Lord says not to do is that if we have these things, we really want to boast. Scholars want to boast of wisdom. A warrior must boast of bravery. The rich show off their wealth and boast. Everyone in the world lives like that. But the Lord tells His people not to boast about these things. If we really want to do it, but if we could do it, we would like to do more. The Lord is asking us for really hard work.
When we read 1 Corinthians 13, we can find that love was defined as not boasting. What does love have to do with boasting?
We want to boast that our loved ones are doing well. We can hear the pride of our loved ones, we are happy. It is joyful that children are well and blessed. Nevertheless, is the Bible negative about boasting? What does love and boasting have to do with? I want to meditate on the text today with such a question.
In fact, what we boast is to show that we are worthy of love. The more we boast, the more likely we are to be loved, respected, and even more glorious. It is that our nature tells us. But the Bible says that love does not boast. Although we want to be loved, but the bible says that we do not boast. We are seeing a scene where our nature and the teachings of the Bible conflict. It shows that the Lord's teachings are against our nature.
So, I have to think about it. Why did the Lord ask us not to boast? Even though we want to make our daily pride. To find out why, we need to look back at 1 Corinthians 13.
I Corinthians 13 is known as a love chapter. "Love is long-suffering, Love is meek, Love is not envy, Love is not boasting…” shows beautiful teachings of love. The background to this teaching that the Lord has revealed through Paul is related to the gift of the Holy Spirit, which has flooded in the Corinthian church.
As you know, the Corinthian church has overflowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. "The gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing, the gift of faith, the gift of discerning the spirits" appeared among the believers. All are spiritual abilities, and the believers experienced the work of the Spirit and felt the work of the Holy Spirit. The natural phenomenon in the Corinthian church where these gifts were displayed boasted each other. So, what happened to the Corinthian church? Would the church be more peaceful, more joyful, and more loving to each other? Unfortunately, this church, which receives a lot of spiritual gifts from God, has become a battleground. It is ironic that the church in which the power of God appeared became a battleground.
Why did this happen? It is associated with boasting. Those who received the gift of the Holy Spirit began to boast. "I have a gift of tongues." It is grateful that the believer received the gift of God. But there were things that came out of the back of these believers. It was jealousy in people. 'He seems to be a little bit more involved in the church than I am, less in prayer, and offering no more. How do you receive the gift of tongues before I do? "These hearts came to people. One's pride has caused envy of many people. There are also those who have bragged about their gifts begin to settle in their hearts. It is called 'pride'. "I have a gift of tongues; do not you still have?" They were proud of what they had and started to ignore others. Furthermore, they argued about who was bigger. Self-boasting can bring about another person's envy, and boast can make you proud.
I have seen a lot of these phenomena when I work at the institute. "I know many things. Don’t you know this?" People boast about knowing a little more, and they tend to ignore others who may not have a little bit of knowledge. They may be lack in love.
It is a common phenomenon in the social aspect of news. People are boasting of their riches, and the story of despising the poorer than themselves is becoming a social problem. They should have a lot of money, but because they are proud of what they have, they have become a patient with a lack of love. I hope that we will realize why the Lord taught that love does not boast. It is also a part we should keep in mind when we want to boast.
We need love, we need to live to be loved, but we should not be loved by boasting. Our boasting sometimes causes envy of others. Furthermore, the Lord warned us that we could become proud, and reach the point of disregarding others. Thus, self-boasting can hurt the community.
In a psychologist's article, she also introduced the relationship between love and boasting.
She said, 'a person’s boasting would provide a deficiency to everyone else, and that the sense of deficiency immediately triggers a suppressed jealousy within them. Every time I witnessed in my daily life that how tightly the mechanism leading to pride, deprivation, jealousy, anger is.
I hope that you and I will be able to apply the Lord's word in our lives: 'Love does not boast.
3. Boast in the Lord
Then this question arises. What should we do? What should we do if your boasting cause others’ envy, instead of getting love by others. So, there is a prescription medicine that the Lord has given us. It is to have us boast of the Lord.
We should acknowledge that our wisdom, courage, and riches are not ours. Wisdom is given by God. Therefore, what we boast about the grace of the Lord who has given us wisdom. This is a spiritual principle. We must know that many gifts that have not been given to the Corinthians because they were good to be loved.
The Apostle Paul had a lot of boasting in his life before he met Him. He had a good family. He had a good academic background. Everyone was proud of him. However, after Saul met Jesus Christ, he regarded everything he had as a waste. And his boasting became a cross of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul's pride became the grace of the Lord who died for his sins. When we realize that what we have is what the Lord has given us, our boasting can be turned into the glory of the Lord.
There is a second prescription medicine given to us by the Lord. It is 'to treat others better than yourself.'
Of course, this teaching is not easy. You may be proud of yourself because you think you are better than others. So, praising others is far from our nature. But why should we treat others better?
It is because the Lord has shown an example first.
" Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! (Philippians 2: 5-8) "
God became a man. His birth was in stables. The Lord showed us the courage to be lower than others. We need courage to be lower than courage to be higher.
Some pastor confessed that the Lord’s word challenged him.
'Harold was a cerebral palsy. He could not walk alone, wear clothes, eat food, or go to the bathroom. I was given to take care of him. I couldn’t accept the work. I moved to St. Louis for spiritual training. I just graduated from college and I thought I was ready to change the world. I was ready to preach, prepare to take a guest lecture, and prepare to change the history. But only one, I was not ready to help Harold.'
What would the pastor's reaction be: He might say, “I will take care of him.” Instead, the pastor's response was like this.
'Harold is better than me? I'm healthy, I'm good at speaking ... Mmmm! I also go to graduate school. How can I see Harold better than me? "
He confessed that God had healed the pastor's mind. And he said he worked hard on Harold. And later, Harold and he became good friends. And later, this pastor expressed, "I thank God that I have met Harold as my good teacher."
God uses Harold to teach us. "Love is not boasting, love treats other better than yourself.” Amen!!