Day 3 INTRODUCTION: We started a series of short posts about how the enemy proliferates our fleshly desires and causes our downfall. Identifying each trait and breaking them down into 7 parts to make it easier for you to understand and protect your loved ones from falling prey. Our intent is not to create fear or pass judgement on those with medical conditions but simply to state the truth as presented in the Holy Bible. We are passionate about your welfare, emotional, and physical wellbeing. We welcome your request for prayers, individually or in a group setting. God bless you and me.
BOASTING / BRAGGING: There is one sin in the Bible that you will probably not hear much about. That is the sin of BOASTING. The reason why it isn't a popular topic in the church is because so many leaders today are guilty of this heinous transgression.
Modern Fundamentalism is full of leaders who brag upon themselves and others within their ranks, each one esteeming the other and exalting them within their group. They have made man more worthy of praise than God, as they continually boast of their ministries just like Jehu in the Old Testament, encouraging others to "come and see their zeal for the Lord." But is it right to brag upon ourselves? What does the Bible say about it?
The sin of boasting or bragging is dealt with in the scriptures time and again. In the Bible, the word "brag" does not appear. Instead, the scriptures use the words "boast" and "boasting." And, for a person to boast of himself is something God frowns upon. Just look at the two following passages of scripture in which God speaks about sins and sinners. Notice how "boasters" are listed along with the wickedest of men.
WHY DOES GOD CONDEMN BOASTING? THE STORY OF JEHU:
When the prophet Elijah had asked to be relieved of his ministry, God had told him to do three things: anoint Elisha as his successor, appoint Haza-el as king of Aram and anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel (I Kings 19:16). In the previous chapter we saw how Elisha carried out Elijah's instructions to appoint Haza-el as king of Aram . Now the time had come for him to fulfill the third part of Elijah's prophecy and anoint Jehu as king of Israel in order to take vengeance on the House of Ahab for their idolatry and criminality.
"You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free." (2 Kings 9:7–8) NKJV
So if God commanded Jehu to wipe out the house of Ahab, why did Hosea prophesy that God “will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu”?
2 Kings 9–10 explain Jehu’s zeal in eliminating Ahab and his line, including the notoriously wicked Queen Jezebel, Ahab’s wife (2 Kings 9:33). He even went so far as to kill King Ahaziah of Judah (2 Kings 9:27).
However, when he came to Jezreel, Jehu exceeded his mandate by killing “all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining” (2 Kings 10:11). Although God did commend Jehu for wiping out Ahab and his line (2 Kings 10:30), Jehu was never praised for his excess. In fact, Hosea 1:4 seems to indicate God was upset with Jehu’s bloodthirstiness.
Jehu also slaughtered a large gathering of Baal worshipers and essentially “destroyed Baal from Israel” (2 Kings 10:28). Yet, as far as we know, God never commanded Jehu to do this, even though the Lord despised the worship of Baal. Jehu was never commended for this action either.
Although Jehu fulfilled God’s command to exterminate the house of Ahab, he didn’t have the right motives for doing so. Here is a summary some of the good and bad done by Jehu.
However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin. (2 Kings 10:29–31)
JEHU'S END: “But Jehu, by cleaving, against the will of God, to Jeroboam’s sin, which served his own political ends, showed that, in the slaughter of his master, he acted not, as he pretended, out of zeal for the will of God, but served his own will and his own ambition only.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament. Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 1999, Findex.Com. All rights reserved.). Getting rid of Baal served his interests, but getting rid of the calves cut in on his political gains.
Now that we know where the Bible holds a strong opinion about boasters or braggarts, let us try to understand the definition, according to the modern dictionary, so as to understand its application today.
DEFINITION BOASTERS: a very boastful and talkative person. Synonyms: blowhard, braggart, bragger, line-shooter. Type of: egoist, egotist, swellhead. a conceited and self-centered person. It turns them into gaseous philosophers and dreamy. (Vocabulary.com)
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly." - Matthew 6:1-4 NKJV
PSYCHOLOGY: Boasting is a key trait of narcissism. The narcissist boasts about everything, exaggerating their achievements, success, wealth, education, occupation, conquests, power etc, anything in fact that helps them to build a grandiose image. The narcissist suffers from jealousy and envy, anything another person has they want, so they set out to get it. They use their grandiose image as part of their art of seduction in order to attract others to them for their exploitation. However, once they extract what they want from this person they lose respect for them, they are then soon discarded in a terrible fashion, often ruining their reputation in the process.
The truth is that narcissists have little or no self-esteem or self-worth of their own (no such ego functions); in fact their boasting implicitly implies a serious lack of self-worth. Boasting has many advantages for the narcissist; to start with, it acts as a defense mechanism against feeling inferior.
In order to mask their underlying feelings of inferiority, not just to the world, but to their own self, the narcissist has to maintain their image of superiority, and boasting helps them do that. When you are in their favor, then you will have to be prepared to endure a pretty much one sided relationship, where they are the constant topic of conversation, with their “I”, “me”, “my” and “mine”.
If you do manage to talk about yourself, you will soon see them become bored and impatient with the conversation, and somehow the conversation switches back to them, and once again they are in the limelight.
A major research was done by Harvard that included scanning brain to see what truly happens with our brains when we are boasting. Research have gotten to the bottom of why so many of us are compelled to share our every thought, movement, like and want through mediums like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest.
Jehu’s actions provide an example for us today. There are many people who think they are serving the Lord and they work with great zeal in trying to accomplish God’s work. Saul, later known as the Apostle Paul, was the same way before his conversion (Philippians 3:4–6). However, in the case of both of these men, their hearts were not right before the Lord. Even though Jehu was zealous to end the worship of Baal in Israel, he allowed idolatry to continue in Bethel and Dan. Saul was so zealous in trying to accomplish God’s work that he persecuted Christians.
We must learn a lesson from these people. It doesn’t matter how hard we work for the Lord if we aren’t truly obedient to His Word. May we always be careful not only to do the Lord’s work, but to do His work in His way and in His strength.
In spite of his great display of strength in eradicating the Baal worship that had plagued Israel for two generations, Jehu could not bring himself to uproot the worship of Jeraboam's golden calves. This was "out of anxiety that the kingship would revert to the House of David, which is what Jeraboam had been afraid of" (Rashi on v 29, I Kings 12:26). For without the golden calves, Israel would have turned their hearts back towards God's chosen House in Jerusalem .
In the merit of Jehu's mighty deeds he earned the kingship for himself and his offspring to the fourth generation (verse 30), but because he did not repent, God chastised Israel by sending Haza-el king of Aram to create an "intifada" which was initially focused particularly on all the Israelite territories east of the River Jordan (v 33). This was the beginning of the end of the hold of the Ten Tribes on their ancestral portions, leading eventually to their exile.
Please stay tuned for the next part of this series that will cover: BLASPHEMERS.
God bless you and your family. May you keep on guard and protect your heart and minds from the slick enemy who is always on the prowl to grab an unsuspecting soul. Please share your thoughts and views in the comment box below and share it with your family and friends. You can share your love and save someone from falling into a trap.
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