This week’s love topic, is love does not brag. But first, a confession. I knew love was complex, but I didn’t really, really realize how involved it was until The Love Tune-Up. No wonder we have a hard time getting it right. I’m understanding more and more that love is like any sport, hobby or anything else that requires diligent and ongoing practice and study to achieve any kind of respectable proficiency.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB)
Quick check: Did anyone finish last week’s homework and write up a list of 50 things to be thankful for? It’s ok, you can be honest with me. Oh, you didn’t? You ingrate, you. Ha-ha…just kidding. No stones thrown here, but I do think you should get to that before another day ends, k? Why wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful.
Like jealousy, bragging comes from a self-centered focus. It means to talk boastfully, or to talk about yourself, your achievements, your family, etc., in a way that shows too much pride.
I like this one explanation I found on the Internet that says, bragging “is definitely a selfishness that reveals what is really going in in the heart exposed through the tongue.” (Source: jasoncdukes.wordpress.com)
You may see bragging when a few moms get together and they start one-upping each other with stories of their brilliant, beautiful, athletic, perfect genius babies. Or in some cases, they might try to outdo each other on how wild, wretched or spoiled their bratty kids may be.
In marriage or families, you may see bragging expressed as a competition to see who’s done more for the other person to prove how little payoff they’ve received in return. Or maybe you even brag to yourself and turn your thoughts to how your spouse, kids or other relatives just don’t deserve all the good things you’ve done.
Or, you might see it between friends who’ve reconnected as they try to show off their material accomplishments and wealth.
Even in church, you may see good Christians channeling their inner-Martha as they make sure everyone knows how much they’re doing for the good Lord. (By the way, check out my friend’s article, if you struggle with a Martha complex or have no clue what it’s about.)
The Root of Bragging
Because bragging “seeks to gain recognition or draw attention to oneself,” I’d go as far as to say that it stems from a failure to recognize one’s on value or worth. For if we knew who we were in Christ, why would we need to seek the accolades or approval of people? If we knew that our good deeds and hard work would be rewarded in heaven, why would we be desperate to receive the attention of people.
Now do understand, I’m talking strictly in the context of relationships. As someone who works in the business world (and even as a blogger), I understand that sometimes we may have to toot our own horn to get ahead. However, even then, we need to be mindful of bragging. The Bible and history are filled with countless stories of people who’ve boasted and bragged only to suffer hard, humiliating falls (think Goliath).
This week’s goal is to be quiet and listen. Refrain from bragging. When you’re tempted to one-up someone or show off what you or a family member has done, keep quiet unless asked to share. This might be a hard one for us moms, but let’s give it a try.
The spotlight’s on you: What have you picked up from the Love Tune-Up? Does anyone have any great advice or resources on love? We want to hear about it.