Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Brag Bust

I hate it when I'm reading the Bible and a verse just pops off the page at me, as if to say, "Busted!!!" Okay, so I don't actually hate that, I actually kinda like it. That's one of the many reasons why I read the Bible in the first place. I want it to point out the sin in my life, to wake me up to the crappy attitudes and actions I've been blind to or aware of and ignoring, so I can deal with them. And by deal with them I mean confess them and repent - to be sorry and stop doing them. I love knowing that, as a believer in Christ, my sins are forgiven. I'm not afraid of judgement. This is another one of the reasons I love reading the Bible - being reminded of God's love and mercy towards me.

So that's exactly what played out for me not too long ago. I read James 4 but it was sort of a rush job. Then I got into my study notes which always ask great convicting questions that force me to take a closer look at verses that I would otherwise breeze over. Granted, the whole book is littered with commands to be humble, but chapter 4 verse 16 said, "As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil."

My first thought was I don't boast and brag. I guess I kinda thought any pride issues of mine were just internal. But when I read the verse the second time, I was totally busted. The word Facebook was what came to mind.  I wondered, if I was to look back on my wall - or timeline - or whatever they'll call it next - how often do I brag or boast? Even if I'm not bragging about anything major - for example, the quality of the cheeseburger I'm wolfing down or how funny or witty I think my kids are  - how often do I announce to my entire world of "friends" about how great my life is or how amazing something I have is or how cool something I did is?

Why do I post some of the status updates that I do? To lift myself up? To make me look good? To tempt other people to be discontented? Shame on me.  If I back up in the same chapter to verse 6 it says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Verse 10 says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

So I'm going to try to think twice before posting some of the status updates I might otherwise be quick to shout out. I guarantee I'll continue to post some of the little quips my kids come out with...I hope to make people laugh. Of course I'll continue to promote my blog - it's my creative outlet to inspire and entertain. But there will always be times that I will feel the tempation to share with my Facebook world some tidbit where the only purpose would be to one-up people or make me look good.

James 4:17 goes on to say, "Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." The good I know I ought to do is to humble myself, not boast and brag. The good I know I ought to do is to put this conviction and commitment out there for some accountability. The good I know I ought to do is to encourage others to do the same.  Are you with me?

And now, especially for my Country music fan friends, here's a little closing tune you'll be sure to appreciate.

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