Thursday, February 5, 2009
Love does not boast...
...Love does not boast....
(I Cor 13:4)
When I found out I was blogging on boasting today, it occurred to me that I'd never really done a Bible study on this word alone. Yes, I'd studied about pride. And yes, I've strived to practice thinking of others more than myself, but I realized something interesting when I did a Biblical word search on boasting.
Know what I found out?
Well, I'll tell ya anyway. LOL!
Not all boasting is bad. What kind of boasting is okay?
--the kind that brings attention to God rather than us. (1 Sam 2:1-3)
--the kind that serves to make God famous rather than us. (Ps 44:8)
--the kind that gives God credit for things done in our lives. (Ps 34:2)
--the kind that honors others above ourselves. (2 Cor 9:2-3)
--the kind that encourages believers that they are on the right track(2 Cor 7:14)
--the kind that builds others up (2 Cor 10:13-15)
The kind of boasting that is not okay:
--the kind that takes credit away from God for things accomplished (1 John 2:16)
--the kind that robs attention from God (James 4:16)
--the kind that steals glory and fame that belongs to God (Judges 7:2)
--the kind that tears others down (1 Cor 5:6)
--the kind that discourages and disheartens those who feel they can't measure up when we elevate ourselves rather than let God do it. (Ps 94:4)
When is it okay to boast?
In the Lord(in his abilities, accomplishments, deeds, character, etc)
In others (for the purpose of encouraging and admonishing them to obedience and toward a closer relationship with God)
When is it not okay?
To boast in ourselves (over our abilities, accomplishments, gifts, deeds, character, etc. Anything that takes credit away from the One who really deserves it)
When I first sold my books, I SO struggled with promoting them, because I felt like I was braggin, boasting or otherwise trying to push myself off on people. It's a fine line to honor our publishers by helping to get the word out about our books, without making it seem like we are tooting our horn.
Another thing I struggle with is when to share writing accomplishments. When both of my debut novels received Top Picks, I HAD to let my writing colleagues know. Especially since some of them had mentored me. Though I sent that e-mail with a pure heart in that I really was trying to encourage them because they'd spent time helping me, another part of me just CRINGED as soon as the e-mail sent. I automatically worried that people would think I was bragging on myself.
So now I opt to let others share any good news I have. Not saying it's wrong to toot our own horns when we have an accomplishment, I'm just being real here in saying that I really struggle with knowing when I've crossed a line. Generally people love to hear about our good news and accomplishments. But it goes down easier I think when it's not the person themselves sharing the news. Reconciling that sort of thing and knowing how to share the good news about myself in such a way that it brings honor and attention to God and others rather than myself and doing it without being cringeworthy is key for me.
As authors, we definitely rely on readers to help us get the word out about our books. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to market books. The problem is, many authors struggle with marketing themselves because we've been conditioned that bringing attention to ourselves is somehow wrong. If you like an author and their books, one of the best things you can do for them is tell others about their books so they don't have to. LOL!
Thank you for dropping by our blog today!
Now, I'd like to hear from you all. Has there been a time in your life when someone else's bragging/boasting has driven you up a wall? Without mentioning names, I'd love to hear how you coped with that, as well as any struggles you've had with boasting.