“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2
“But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” James 4:16
Christian Lesson Overview
These two verses make the point that we should not boast about ourselves. Our objectives should be to help those people around us, not promote ourselves. Sometimes we are motivated to make ourselves look good to others to gain job promotions, elevate our status among our friends, impress others, or just to make ourselves look good.
If you focus on helping other people and not worry about credit, other people will notice your efforts. If you focus on helping other people rather than praising yourself, you will not only communicate praise for someone else, but you may earn respect from the people you helped and other people who observed your effort.
Christian Lesson for Today
Sam was a high school football player who wanted a football scholarship to a major university. He worked hard at practice and studied his team’s playbook in an effort to make sure he would be chosen to start the first game. Every time he made a good play in practice, he told everyone about it several times.
After a week, the other players began to lose respect for Sam. Sam felt he was not given credit for his effort. He continued to work hard and communicate his accomplishments to the other players. His teammates began to avoid him.
Sam talked with his older sister, Judy about his situation. She told him that he needed to make the success of the team his priority, not his scholarship or his status among the team members. Judy told Sam to find ways to help the other players and communicate about the team’s success, not himself. She told him that helping the team play better will help them win games. This will lead to a better chance of receiving scholarship offers. She told him that if he helped the other players and avoided talking about himself, the other players will support him. Supporting others is much more important than receiving credit for every good play.
Sam thought about what Judy told him. He decided to change his approach. One point Judy made that was very important was that he needed to be sincere, do not help the other players for selfish reasons, but help them for the team.
Sam immediately began to help the other players and communicate when he thought someone else made a good play. The other players responded after a couple of weeks. Not only did Sam get his scholarship, but he applied the concept to everything else in his life. He never felt the need to promote himself.
Christian Lesson Summary
Boasting about your accomplishments will hurt you in the long run. When you focus on the accomplishments of others, you will receive plenty of credit and you will develop valuable friendships. Credit from others is much more valuable than claiming your own credit.