“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:17-18 ESV)
Boasting is a symptom of pride where reward and recognition become the chief motives for a person’s work. We all have a desire to live a life of significance. Just take a look at a few social media profiles and you will notice that most people on these platforms just want to be noticed. It is a great way to stay connected with instant photos and message updates, especially when friends and family members are living in other parts of the world.
The “like” buttons have a way of giving and receiving approval for whatever is posted on a person’s media feed. However, it can also become an obsession because we love to measure our own approval ratings. They virtually give us a sense of value and worth in an instantaneous fashion.
But what happens when the number of “likes” decline? Does your worth go down in value? Of course not! But it can sure make you feel that way if social media is your only means of creating a healthy self-image.
The Lord loves us and I believe he hates when we don’t feel good about ourselves for the wrong reasons. Comparisons are how the devil messes with our minds, telling us we should be proud and work hard to stay ahead of our competition. When we see someone do better or succeed, we might become jealous with envy. And when our ability to work with youthful vigor wanes, we end up feeling a little depressed. That is why having a boastful spirit can be a bit unhealthy. Seeking commendations for ourselves is just a bad practice because there is always someone else who will accomplish more or do better. A boastful man will never be at peace if he is the center of attention.
The healthier habit would be to turn to God and boast in all that he is and what he has done. It takes the focus off us and directs our praises towards him. And if he chooses to reward our work with a commendation, then may we thank him even more for giving us a purpose and ability.
So let’s cast our vanity aside and turn our gaze upwards to our Father. “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).