Whatever we think valuable ought to be acknowledged as received from God. If then all the excellency we have is God’s gift, it is very strange that we do not learn humility when God thus binds us to Himself; but that, on the contrary, we abuse His bounty by making it the occasion of pride. This ingratitude has nevertheless ever prevailed in the world. This then is the reason why [God] reduces to nothing all the boastings of the world.
Those that boast most of the religion may be suspected of partiality and hypocrisy in it.
Boasting is always suspicious, or superfluous. For real greatness no more needs a publisher, than the sun!
By comparing ourselves to other people and trying to make ourselves look better than others, we are boasting. Trying to recommend ourselves, trying to create a self-esteem resume because we are desperate to fill our sense of inadequacy and emptiness. The ego is busy. So busy all the time.
Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak.
The nature and depth of human pride are illuminated by comparing boasting to self-pity. Both are manifestations of pride. Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Boasting says, “I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much.” Self-pity says, “I deserve admiration because I have suffered so much.” Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing. The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be so needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego. It doesn’t come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride. Christian Hedonism severs the root of self-pity. People don’t feel self-pity when suffering is accepted for the sake of joy.
Boasting is the outward form of the inner condition of pride.
I was born into a believing family through no merit of my own at all. I was given a mind to think and a heart to feel through no merit of my own at all. I was brought into the hearing of the gospel through no merit of my own at all. My rebellion was subdued, my hardness removed, my blindness overcome, and my deadness awakened through no merit of my own at all. Thus I became a believer in Christ through no merit of my own at all. And so I am an heir of God with Christ through no merit of my own at all. Now when I put forward effort to please the Lord who bought me, this is to me no merit at all, because… it is not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Cor. 15:10)… God is working in me that which is pleasing in His sight. (Heb. 13:21)… He fulfills every resolve for good by His power. (2 Thes. 1:11) And therefore there is no ground for boasting in myself, but only in God’s mighty grace. Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. (1 Cor. 1:31)
We are wired by God to be angry and be jealous and yes, to boast – some of us more than others! From little kids to senior citizens, everybody is boasting. Some of it is vain-glory and some of it is noble. Yet legitimate boasting in God’s eyes is the boasting that exalts the grace of God and what He has accomplished in our lives. We are created to be mirrors that reflect His image. When the world sees God’s work in us, He receives great glory. And when our boasting is of this nature, the heart is right and our boasting will actually lead in us to greater humility.
Grace puts its hand on the boasting mouth, and shuts it once for all.
Boasting or bragging is a sinful preoccupation with oneself. Braggarts crave attention. They want others to praise their abilities, knowledge, successes, and even their sufferings for God. Because they desire recognition, they speak too highly and too much of themselves, although they may have nothing significant to say.