1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Love does not boast. This one hits me hard. Because I live in constant need for affirmation and acceptance, I brag about anything that I’ve done. I embellish the story to make me look good. I boast about something that I accomplished. I make sure that I get an “atta boy” from whomever will listen. But that’s not the way of love. Boasting is self focused. Love is others focused. Boasting is lifting oneself up. Love is lifting others up. Boasting is all about getting something from others. Love is all about giving to others.
When I boast or brag about something, it, by its very nature, puts others down. It shines the light on me at the expense of others. Someone always feels less than when there is boasting going on. Is that the way I want to make people feel? Like they are less than me. Less important. Less qualified. Less valuable. No. That’s not what I want those around me to feel like. I want my wife, my friends, anyone who I’m in relationship with, to feel important and encouraged and loved.
There is also a consequence for me when I boast. Luke 14:8-11 shows this pretty clearly.
“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
My boasting is just priming the the pump for a humbling experience to follow. So, it just doesn’t make any sense to be boastful and it certainly isn’t loving.