As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:16)

WE SO OFTEN ACT as if we can control life and make it work out like we want.

A boastful person is one who says: “Look at me and all I have accomplished.” He belittles others: “You probably couldn’t survive without me.” He sees himself as indispensable.

This person wants to win every argument and treat everything as a debate. The boastful one never encourages when another is doing something important. He doesn’t want someone else to be more successful. He lowers another’s value so that he can be number one. I want to distance myself from such a person.

Take the time to be interested in others. Ask others questions about themselves. If you learned something from someone, give that person the credit. Love builds up others. Boasting builds me up.

Then, give credit where credit is really due—to the Lord. Boasting claims that my own will and power are supreme and that assurance rests in my accomplishments and plans, not in God’s. The boastful person acts like God has nothing to do with blessings. When I boast, I ignore the fact that God is running the world. James calls that evil.

Paul says that, as a Christian, the only thing I should boast of is what Christ has done for me (2 Cor. 12). There is nothing that I might do that compares to that.

Ask God to fill you with love for someone unlovable.

Drexel Rankin is a retired ordained minister who served in Indiana, Alabama, and Kentucky. He and his wife, Patty, live in Louisville, Kentucky.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.