“The person wrapped up in himself/herself makes a very small package.”
So goes a rather famous old statement. Woodrow Wilson once remarked that he knew a man who was so full of himself that he could “strut even when seated.” I knew a farmer here in central Indiana who had a male peacock. He also had a pond that I enjoyed fishing in! When I would go to the pond, the peacock inevitably would fly up into a tree and scold me with the strange sounds that peacocks make when they are disturbed. The main thing I remember about the peacock, though, was the way he strutted about and flaunted his beautiful plumage. He seemed never to tire calling attention to himself. When a peacock does that, it is interesting, expected and rather beautiful. When a person struts about and calls attention to self, it is ridiculous, off-putting and wrong.
Monday…Have you known anyone who loves to boast? The Bible has a lot to say about boasting. Real love does not focus on self. Boasting is all about self. James 4:16 reminds us that boasting is evil. Read Jeremiah 9:23 which reminds us all that even if our accomplishments are legitimate, boasting is wrong.
Tuesday…We clearly see the relationship between boasting and pride. Can pride be a good thing? Of course it can! It is good to take a measure of pride in one’s work. We can be proud of our children and grandchildren. There is a tipping point, however. That tipping point is arrived at when, from a lack of love for others, we give self total credit for all accomplishments.
Wednesday…Please read Proverbs 16:18. This definitive verse nails a great truth! If one allows oneself to be put on a pedestal by others (or by self), a fall is inevitable.
Thursday…Who should get the credit for one’s success? Consider the role others have played in your life. Parents, teachers, the church’s influence, the Spirit’s influence…no one should boast or have pride in being “self-made.” We all stand on the shoulders of those who preceded us and influenced us. Read I Corinthians 3:6 where Paul shows love to his co-workers and to God and spreads the credit around for his success in ministry.
Friday…Love, as we are learning, involves the sacrifice of self. Jesus taught us to love and to put ourselves last…indeed, to see ourselves as His bond servant and the servant of all. What is the reward for love which does not boast, is not proud and puts self last? Jesus said, “The first will be last and the last will be first.”