<<brag, sing your own praises>>

Boasting is having too high an opinion of our importance; this leads to self-deception (2 Chr 25:19; Rom 12:3; Gal 6:3). However, we should not have a demeaning attitude either as we are created in the image of God. Therefore, it is important to have an honest, humble and accurate appraisal based on our new identity in Christ.

It is unwise to boast except “in the Lord” where the emphasis is on Him, what He has done for us, of what He is still doing and of what He has promised to do (Ps 98:1; 2 Cor 10:17). It is acknowledging, ‘Look what the Lord has done for me. I was and always will be incapable of doing anything of eternal value in my own self’, but “I can do all things through Him who

    Boast only in the cross of Christ         – Galatians 6:14

gives me strength…I rejoice in Him” (Ps 34:2, 44:8; Jer 9:23,24; 1 Cor 1:31; Phil 4:13). Those who boast do not know the facts for it is not our ability even if He works through us (Deut 8:17,18; Isa 10:15; Zech 4:6; Rom 11:18). Even though Paul had every reason to brag about his credentials and experiences he considered them rubbish alongside what he had in Christ and the power of God that shone through his weaknesses (2 Cor 11:16-12:10; Phil 3:4-11).

Boasting is wrong because self is the focus, it is about ‘what we have and do’. However expressing appreciation, honouring or speaking highly of the accomplishments of others brings encouragement and should be a normal part of our life, and not us praising ourselves (Prov 27:2; Isa 5:21; 2 Cor 9:2,3; 1 Jn 2:16). A boastful person is not humble or has not been broken at the foot of the cross of Christ where all our seeming righteousness is revealed as nothing but filthy rags (Isa 64:6). Our only hope and security is His grace and mercy. Because our entry into heaven is not dependent on our effort, we can’t boast; it is solely the grace of God (Eph 2:8,9).

The tongue makes great claims but creates major problems and states we will do various things, however “All such boasting is evil” (Prov 27:1; Jas 3:5, 4:13-16). In fact, arrogance and boasting are traits of the flesh (Rom 1:30). Satan’s downfall was because of his ego. He declared, “I will…I will…” (Isa 14:12-15).

See also: humility, pride, self, vanity.