God In The Public Square – Bragging Rights

By Tera Ertz

“… it [love] does not boast.” (1 Corinthians 13:4d)

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever observed someone on the winning side of a hard-fought contest, and their first response is to rub their opponent’s nose in their achievement? Or perhaps there are those you have seen that just bought the most expensive house/car/boat on the block, and they stand around all day bragging about their newest acquisition? I imagine your reaction to such behavior is one of disgust at their unbecoming behavior. Most people teach their children that such actions are rude and unsportsman-like, and we as a society tend to applaud people who win, but don’t much care for boastful winners any more than we like sore losers.

This is not really a surprise, as God tells us that His word is written on our hearts, He commands us to love, and then tells us that love does not boast. Yet, as Christians we will often find ourselves reacting in the same manner in the political arena. We will engage in debate, and when we have finally worn our opponent down or they have thrown their hands up and begun slinging insults, we gleefully declare ourselves the winner and begin extolling our own prowess and we belittle the attitudes, ideas and character of those we have been debating. Or our candidate or policy wins approval, and we boastfully tell all those who supported some other person or cause how we trounced them in the polls. We don’t often stop to view ourselves through the lens of God’s eye as He looks down at our antics, nor do we take time to give praise to Him. We instead hold the focus on ourselves, and in so doing demonstrate to the world that we are just like everyone else, self-serving, self-focused, and more interested in winning than in being righteous.

God calls us to speak the truth, and He lends us His strength, conviction, and power to allow us to be heard in ways that will change the world for His purpose. When we use that power to shine the spot light on ourselves, as if those achievements were ours alone, no matter how true our words, how righteous our cause, how enormous the win, we have failed in our primary responsibility to God of demonstrating His glory and love to the world.

Prayer

God, forgive us for the sin of boasting to the world of our own powers and triumphs. We know that You are the source of all that we have in success and in material things. Let Your Spirit dwell within our hearts, and fill us with the joy of shouting of Your glory at each success and achievement so the rest of the world may look upon our many blessings and know how wonderful You are.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

You can find Tera Ertz on Facebook and check out her new book God Talk: The Beginning at Amazon.com

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2 Responses to God In The Public Square – Bragging Rights

  1. Duncan Regen says:

    Leading by example mean, you don’t have to brag, boost. People will see the way you live your life, which is all that is needed

  2. Pingback: God In the Public Square – Before the Fall | Contagious Transformation

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