Ours is a boasting culture. Trash talking is not only accepted but expected. Whether it is on the field of competition, the corporate world, rooting for our local or favorite sports teams, boasting over who has never lost a basketball competition between brothers or friends. It is common. It is part of every new truck off the assembly line and every new technological breakthrough. Boasting–trash talking is a normal part of our lives in America.
But if you have read the Bible, you know that boasting, and the pride associated with it, is not seen as a virtue. With a few notable exceptions one of which is the passage below, boasting is the opposite of virtuous. Boasting in wisdom, power and riches—the normal stuff surrounding all brash trash talking—is condemned unless it is associated with the knowledge of God and of knowing God Himself. Jeremiah punches boasting in the mouth in his ninth chapter.
“Thus says the LORD:
“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom,
let not the mighty man boast in his might
let not the rich man boast in his riches,
but let him who boasts boast in this,
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD who practices
steadfast love, justice, and righteousness
in the earth.
For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
Let’s cultivate humility rather than boasting.
Let’s cultivate helping others get above us rather than exalting ourselves above anyone else.
Let’s remember what John the Baptist said about his ministry in relationship to Jesus,
“He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Often forgotten and overlooked are the last words of verse 29.
“Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.”
Let’s ask God to give us John’s heart, that our joy would be complete in seeing Jesus exalted even if means that our ministry, our prominence, our power, our honor are all diminished. There won’t be any trash-talking in heaven. Only Jesus will be exalted there. Let’s start practicing now.