But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
Thus says the Lord, 'Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches.'
For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
Bragging is commonplace in Hollywood. So is name-dropping. 'I had lunch with (big name producer) and we ran into (A-list director), who is doing an amazing new project. I worked with him on (a well-known film). It was a blast.'
It's called self-promotion: to talk about your gifts; to be seen with powerful people; to make connections in hopes of social, financial or career promotion. It's a red carpet experience. But if you get promoted, is it from God?
When I was in high school, social clubs were the symbol of success for girls. But I was extremely fat and unusually shy, so I didn't fit that standard. But if I did, would I have bragged with the best? I fear the answer, and God spared me the question.
Maybe at your school it's sports or cheerleading. Maybe at your job it's money or position. Maybe at your church it's pews or people. Do Christian celebrities measure their success by books written, appearances made and audience size?
What's the antidote for bragging?
In one word: humility. Add a second word: meekness. Jesus championed both. 'I am gentle and humble in heart' (Matthew 11:29). 'See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey' (Matthew 21:5). 'Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth' (Matthew 5:5).
Jesus was more concerned with the beggars at His gates, the suffering in His streets and the women at His feet. As for bragging? He warned against it. 'Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing' (Matthew 6:3). In other words, don't brag about your gifts or accomplishments.
When I began to follow Him, I prayed to be 'Transformed into the same image' (2 Corinthians 3:18). His response? 'Put on Christ' (Galatians 3:27); 'Be imitators of Christ' (Ephesians 5:1).
Therefore, associate with the outcasts. Invite the unattractive. Befriend the lonely. Let others praise you. But never praise yourself.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Celebrity Poison series.