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“Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” (1 Cor. 5:6 NIV)

You can inflate a situation with boasting, just as yeast raises bread.

Yeast is a living microscopic single-cell organism that, as it grows, converts its food (through a process known as fermentation) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This trait is what endears yeast to winemakers, brewmasters and bread bakers. … Baker’s yeast, as the name implies, is used as a leavener. Food Network

Yeast is small, round balls.  Baking bread requires very little yeast, yet it infects all of the dough.  As time goes by, the dough begins to rise.  My mother made yeast rolls.  The vision of the stainless steel bowl, covered with a dish towel meant warm rolls were in my future.  The yeast needs time to work itself through the dough, it doesn’t happen immediately.  The same thing happens when we boast about ourselves.

Boasting inflates the situation.

Boasting is “talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.”   We boast about everything: family and friends, sports, money, pets.  You name it, people boast about it.   Nothing is more irritating than listening to someone boast about someone or something that’s not worthy of praise. 

Boasting creates disunity.  When someone brags about something, it creates distance in the relationship.  Just like yeast causes bread to inflate, boasting inflates the space in the relationships.  Instead of drawing closer together, we do the opposite.  No one wants to listen to someone tell you how great they are, it only makes them focus on their faults.

“Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth–a stranger, not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2 NIV)

My mother always said, “If your kids are worth bragging about, someone else will do it.” If we’re worthy of praise, someone else will praise us.  My mother was strict.  She had high expectations of her children.  She set the bar and then helped us achieve it.  But she was not quick to brag about us.  She knew, pride goes before a fall (Prov. 16:18 NIV).

Boasting is verbal pride.   

Pride: Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

No one likes a braggart.  When we boast, we’re the braggart.  We are overestimating our abilities.  We’re saying we’re better than others, which goes against Jesus words:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.’ (Phil. 2:3 NIV)

Boasting indicates we’ve taken our eyes off of Jesus.  He didn’t boast about anything but God.  When we keep the Son in our eyes, we keep pride out of our speech.

Question of the Day:

Have you boasted lately?

Further Reading: Ezra 8:21-9:15 NIV, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 NIV, Psalm 31:1-8 NIV, Proverbs 21:1-2 NIV

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