LISTEN TO: Curtis Mayfield:
"People Get Ready"
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "
As part of our 2020 resolution to become more Christ-like, we continue our walk through Paul's inspired passage on love. Paul breaks down for us what Love does, just as Jesus models for us in his actions and teachings how love acts and reacts in the world. Today we meditate on the the bad habit of boasting and how it gets in the way of love. The following chuckle highlights the problem of boasting.
Amir: You Americans are always boasting how Paul Bunyan was the greatest lumberjack ever, but we Moroccans know that Ibrim Hassan was the world's greatest lumberjack.
Fred: I never heard of Ibrim Hassan. Who was he?
Amir: He was the famous lumberjack of the Sahara Forest.
Fred: Umm, don't you mean the Sahara Desert?
Amir: Oh, sure, NOW it's a desert!
The root word for“brag” in Greek is very picturesque and is closest to our English word,“wind-bag.” When you and I brag, we are demonstrating our insecurity and spiritual immaturity. Even if what we are bragging about something that is true, we fail to see how it may hurt or discourage someone else. Love is not big-headed but big-hearted. Love focuses on how the other
feels, not on our own feeling. This means the more loving we become, the less boasting we need to do. The greater our spiritual gifts, the less prone we should be to brag. After all, the gifts you have been graciously given are from God. If we are to brag, we are to brag about the Lord -- and how God is working in our life."Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 2 Cor10:17
Now all of us should be gracious and share in the good fortune of others. We should be able to share wonderful accomplishments without evoking envy in others. However it is the style of bragging that has emerged these days that is a concern. There is an article about seeking a truce in the bragging wars that abound in New York City. (My child scored 12 goals in one game!!! My daughter learned to read at 6 months!! My son got into Brown, Harvard and Yale, and is having
a hard time choosing! I so tired, we just got back from Palm Beach and we have to go to Aspen for spring break!). So in boasting we draw attention to ourselves, without giving any thought to the circumstances of others. We do not boast to build up the Body, but to increase our prestige. There is a growing etiquette about bragging, because of its potential to alienate
and cause problems in community.
As we turn to prayer, and learn from Jesus, who was "humble of heart," we learn to share our joys in ways that are sensitive to others, and we hear the joys and accomplishment of others with thanksgiving, not with resentment.This way, we build up the body of Jesus in the world.
PRAY: "O God, help us to share my joys in a gracious manner, that gives glory to you and is sensitive to others. Help me to be gracious to the joys that others share."