Love does not brag and is not arrogant, - 1 Corinthians 13:4b (NASB)
It had been a busy day for Randy and he was looking forward to calling it a day and walking home. Along with seven meetings, Randy had been working hard on his sermon on love for the coming Sunday and somewhere in the back of his mind, he had this nagging feeling someone wanted to give him something for his message.
As Randy opened the door to leave, there was someone standing there with a huge bag bag of something. “Can you help me?” came a voice from behind the huge load. Quickly Randy grabbed on to the bag and help set in on the ground and to his surprise, it was Bernadette Henderson standing there. “Here they are.” she said, “I hope these work for your sermon.”
“Uhm.” Randy said, “Thanks but what's in the bag?” “Bags.” Bernadette replied cheerfully, “I thought you could use them for your sermon this Sunday.” “My sermon?” Randy questioned. “Yeah.” Bernadette, said, “You said you were going to teach about love and that love does not bag.” When Randy heard that he placed his hand on his forehead and shaking it slowly murmured “Love does not bag.” and than he gave a short chuckle.
“If these aren't enough, “ Bernadette said, “I know of another great example you might be able to use.” “Another bag?” Randy replied hoping the answer was no and it was. “No.” Bernadette replied, “I thought you could use Old Joe down at the grocer. He must love an awful lot.” “Why is that? Randy asked wondering where this was going.
“Because,” Bernadette replied, “When ever we go there he never bags. We always end up bagging our own stuff.” “I thought it was Old Joe’s job to bag.” Randy asked. “I thought so to,” Bernadette answered, “But all he does is stand there and B R A G brag. If you ask me I think you should talk about bragging instead of bagging.” “Well, now that you mention it.” Randy started to say but was cut off.
“Why Old Joe is a perfect example of a bragger.” Bernadette continued, “All he does is stand at the end of the check out and tell you how good he is. “Good at what” Randy injected, “According to Old Joe himself,” Bernadette continued, “he’s the best bagger in the state. Say’s he won some kind of bagging competition.”
“Have you ever seen him bag?” Randy asked to which Bernadette replied, “Once. And boy was Mom ever mad. He was bragging so much that he wasn’t paying attention and he kept putting all the heavy things on the bread and he broke the eggs. So, what are you going to do with all these bags?” “I don't need any bags, Bernadette.” Randy said with a smile, “I'm planning on talking about how love does not brag.”
“Rags!” Bernadette exclaimed, “Why didn't you says so. My dad has lot’s of those in the garage. Would you like me to get you some?” “Never mind.” Randy said shaking his head, “I think your bagg'n bragg'n story will help me plenty.”
Have you ever wanted something, thought you were going to get it but didn't. Proverbs 25:14 says People who brag about gifts they never give are like clouds and wind that give no rain. (NCV) When rain is needed clouds give hope but if they don't give rain they are worthless. So is a man who brags/boasts. I know of one man in the Bible that bragged plenty but to his fellow soldiers he was like a cloud that gave no rain.
The Philistines had a champion fighter from Gath named Goliath. He was about nine feet, four inches tall. He came out of the Philistine camp with a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of bronze armor that weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He wore bronze protectors on his legs, and he had a bronze spear on his back. The wooden part of his larger spear was like a weaver’s rod, and its blade weighed about fifteen pounds. The officer who carried his shield walked in front of him. Goliath stood and shouted to the Israelite soldiers, “Why have you taken positions for battle? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants! Choose a man and send him to fight me. If he can fight and kill me, we will be your servants. But if I can kill him, you will be our servants.“ Then he said, “Today I stand and dare the army of Israel! Send one of your men to fight me!“ … David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged. I, your servant, will go and fight this Philistine!“ …. When Goliath looked at David and saw that he was only a boy, tanned and handsome, he looked down on David with disgust. He said, “Do you think I am a dog, that you come at me with a stick?“ He used his gods’ names to curse David. He said to David, “Come here. I’ll feed your body to the birds of the air and the wild animals!“ … As Goliath came near to attack him, David ran quickly to meet him. He took a stone from his bag, put it into his sling, and slung it. The stone hit the Philistine and went deep into his forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground. So David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. He did not even have a sword in his hand. Then David ran and stood beside him. He took Goliath’s sword out of its holder and killed him by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran.
1 Samuel 17:1-58 (NCV)
The fourth thing Paul says about love is that it doesn't brag or boast. -1 Corinthians 13:4 When one brags or boasts it usually means they are lifting self up over others which is just the opposite of love.
The Bible reminds that we are not to boast in things like tomorrow or wisdom or might or even riches. Yet, if we feel we need to boast we are to boast in the Lord.
- Proverbs 27:1 - Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (ESV)
- Jeremiah 9:23-24 - 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." (ESV)
As we read in 1 Samuel, Goliath boasted of his might and with his own sword, he lost his head.
Here's Something To Ponder
- In what ways have you bragged which put others down?
- Would you ever consider bragging about God and what He has done?