February 7. Love is Not Boastful

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 7. Love is Not Boastful

This word – perpereuomai – means braggart, heaping praise on oneself, behave as a windbag.

All of a sudden, I saw caricatures of politicians in my mind’s eye and realized that we have become quite comfortable with this person in our society.  In fact, we are so comfortable with them, it is almost as if they are the jester in the court.  They speak and speak and speak – and soon, the things that they say become so much a part of our existence that we no longer question them or their purpose for being in our lives.

In today’s culture, one of the basic foundations of Christianity – humility – is ridiculed and set aside. No one really expects us to remain quiet about the good things we do.  We are expected to shout it to the world.  Oh, we might find ourselves being falsely humble, but we like receiving accolades for the things that we do, the smart things we say, etc.  Facebook publishes the number of friends that we have and we’re always working to make that number grow.  We want people to see our pictures, our achievements, we want to roar and be heard.  We want people to pay attention to our likes and dislikes, to agree with us and if they disagree to be heard loudly and clearly as we challenge their beliefs.  We want to declare our beliefs and have the world see what we have to say – no matter that we might hurt friends and acquaintances with our insensitive presentation.

We are the best, the brightest and the most amazing people on earth.  We root for the best teams, vote for the best people, raise the best kids. We wear the best clothes and drive the best cars. We ridicule countries, opposing political parties, belittle immigrants and those who make less money than we do, those who don’t save everything or can’t seem to come out of a mess that has been created.  We spell correctly, use proper grammar. We listen to the best music and read the best books.  We have the best marriages, only hang out with the best friends and go to the best churches.

We present to the world our best face and challenge anyone to say something different.  We are afraid to be thought of as less than the best, because then we would all have to face the fact that we simply are nothing in relationship to the entirety of the world.

We don’t do humility well.  We do boast quite well, though.

And if, for a moment, you think this is an attack on Facebook or any other social network, think again. This is about our need, as individuals in a culture that promotes itself, to do everything to be better than any other person; whether it is possible or not.