What Does Boasting Mean In The Bible

Boasting in the Bible refers to the promotion or displaying of one’s own accomplishments, usually in regards to one’s pride in their own achievements. Boasting is seen as a result of one’s conceit and over-valuation of their own worth or importance. In its negative connotations, boasting can be seen as a symptom of egotism or pride which can be seen as a sign of spiritual immaturity. Boasting can also be a form of self-praise, or even a way of exalting oneself over others.

The Bible does speak directly about boasting, as seen in many passages such as Proverbs 25:14, which states: “Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts he does not give.” This verse serves to point out that boasting about oneself or something one has done without actually doing any of it does not bring one nearer to God. Likewise, Ecclesiastes 3:5 says “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” This demonstrates that it is wrong to be boastful, because one cannot be sure of the future.

Many religious experts, such as Pastor Tim Tennent and Dr. Wendell Smith, also believe that boasting in the Bible is never something that a Christian should be doing in order to honor God. Tennent argues that Christianity is “antithetical” to boasting and that a boastful spirit is contrary to walking with Jesus. Pastor Wiseman similarly states that “a spirit of humility and self-sacrifice was the root of the teachings of Jesus. In many ways the New Testament is a manifesto against the vice of boasting.” From a Christian perspective, pride is seen as arrogant and sinful, and boasting of one’s own accomplishments is considered to be a form of pride.

Based on the above, it is clear that boasting does have negative connotations in the Bible and should be avoided by anyone looking to live a Christian life. To live a life that honors God and follows His teachings, one must strive to always practice humility and to remember that any accomplishments or achievements come from Him and not from ourselves. Although a person’s accomplishments can be something to be proud of, they should never serve as an excuse to be boastful over others.

Humility vs Pride

The Bible speaks clearly about the differences between pride and humility, and it is important to note that the two have completely distinct meanings and connotations. Pride is rooted in the desire for recognition and for oneself to be exalted beyond measure. It puts one’s own interests above all else and does not take into account the feelings and needs of others. With respect to boasting, pride pushes one to constantly toot one’s own horn and to make themselves as important as possible in relation to everyone else.

Humility, on the other hand, is the opposite of pride. It is a state of mind that allows one to see their own weaknesses and strengths in an honest manner. It puts the interests of others above one’s own and lifts up those around them instead of looking down on them. Humility allows one to still be proud of one’s own accomplishments while still honoring the accomplishments of others.

In order to be faithful to the Bible’s teachings and to honor God, one must strive to practice humility instead of pride. Doing so will help one to avoid exhibiting the negative traits of boastfulness and arrogance.

Avoid Shallow Boasting

Although pride and boasting may have their place in some settings, in Christian settings, it is important to remember that boasting is never something that a Christian should engage in. In fact, even shallow boasting should be avoided as it can be seen as a sign of spiritual immaturity. Such boasting is based in being impressed with one’s own accomplishments and is far from a virtue seen as acceptable in most Christian settings.

The Bible teaches us that one should be careful not to take credit for oneself and instead, should bury the credit in obscurity. One should strive to be humble in their dealings with others and should not be too eager to share the accomplishments of their life. Boasting is a trait that should be avoided and instead, one should devote their energy to developing a strong sense of awareness of their weaknesses as well as their strengths.

Rather than make a practice of boasting on one’s own behalf, one should instead focus on being an example of humility and reliance on God. One should look to praiseworthy actions in order to show the glory of God, rather than the glory of oneself.

Be Generous without Pride

The Bible also speaks against excessive pride in one’s own possessions. Doing good out of pride is not what the Bible teaches underneath its moral teaching. While it is important to give generously and to contribute to the lives of those around us, it is also important to do so without also exhibiting pride or a boastful attitude. One should strive to give generously out of love for God and for others, without ever allowing one’s glory to be part of the equation.

In his discussion of generosity, Pastor Wiseman argues that God calls us to be generous with our possessions, but that we should always do so humbly. Wiseman states that “generosity is not only an act of obedience to God; it is also an act of obedience to Scripture’s warnings against overvaluing riches. So, instead of boasting, a Christian should be generous in order to glorify God and to express their faith in Him.

Donating money, possessions, or even time to a cause should be done out of a desire to help others, rather than out of a desire to gain recognition or boost one’s own sense of importance. Ultimately, a generous attitude should stem from an attitude of humility and selflessness.

Serve God Loyally without Self-Glory

Putting God first and serving Him loyally are some of the most important aspects of living a Christian life. However, it is important to remember that any service of God should not be done in order to exalt oneself as an example to others. Service is to be done out of an attitude of love and humility, not out of pride or seeking recognition.

Paul succinctly writes in Philippians 2:3 that “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” Again, any actions or behavior related to serving God should be done out of humility and with an attitude of selfless service to Him.

Rather than attempt to lead others in their own name, a true servant of God will follow Him and will recognize that any service that is done to the Lord is first and foremost out of a spirit of subordination, devotion, and love. No accomplishments are a result of one’s own doing, but rather of God’s grace and glory.

Strive for Humility, Not Boasting

In conclusion, striving for a spirit of humility and avoiding boasting are both important themes that are seen throughout the Bible. As previously mentioned, pride is seen as a symptom of spiritual immaturity, whereas humility is seen as a virtuous quality. Although a person can be proud of any accomplishments they have achieved, they should always strive to remember that the true credit belongs to God and to His power, not to oneself.

Knowing the differences between humbleness and pride, being generous without pride, and serving God loyally without self-glory are all aspects of living a Christian life that should be kept in mind in order to honor God and to reject any form of boastfulness. In addition, one should strive to be an example of humility in all of their dealings with others.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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