"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1
Sometimes all it takes is one simple little sentence to give you a really great reminder. Boasting is such an annoying habit to witness. I'm sure we all know people who tend to boast about their doings in life- their comings and goings, who they interact with, and things like that. When you interact with someone like that on an everyday basis though, it can be easy to get caught up in their boasting, and maybe want to show them up or at least try to look like you do things as important as they do.
Well, we shouldn't stoop to their level. This verse just gives us such great advice. Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. SO true! How many times do we look at the calendar, see the day ahead of us and think how grand that day will be. Then we wake up, and they day goes wrong from start to finish. Or we make plans financially- we plan a grand trip or a major purchase, and we tell others about how we're going to do this or buy this- and then the plan goes south because of a job lay-off or reduced hours, or an unexpected expense comes up.
God simply doesn't want us to be boasting. Boasting and pride kind of go hand in hand, but look what it says in 1 Corinthians 13:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." 1 Corinthians 13:4
Love does not boast, nor is it proud. And if our command, our challenge for each and every day of our life is to love those around us- we should not engage in either boasting or pridefulness. Solomon gives us a warning about boasting in Proverbs. He lets us know that what we brag about for tomorrow could go seriously wrong. And then where are we? Then we look foolish is where we are.
We are to love. We should love each other, and one way we love is each other is not by being prideful and boasting. The thing is, when we do boast and brag and are prideful of what we have, what we are doing, and things of that nature, is that we're inherently making the other people around us feel bad. They may feel bad because they simply can't afford to go out to lunch every Sunday. Or they may feel bad because you're buying that brand new car while they are limping along with an old beater- and it's really a struggle for them to have faith in God's provision when they are stuck on the side of the road with a faulty transmission.
Now, I do think that God likes us to share with each other what He is doing in our lives. It's a form of testimony, to be able to share how God has blessed us so much that we are able to do something or make a significant purchase. I know that I love to hear how God blesses other people, because it gives me great hope for our own future- it helps to improve my faith in the fact that God truly is our provider.
So I guess the fact is, and the point this morning is that we are to think before we speak. Before we tell that person about this wonderful newness in our lives, we need to think on our reason for sharing in the first place. Are we sharing this news to give God glory? Or are we sharing this news to give ourselves glory or a pat on the back? Are we trying to show off? Or are we trying to give a testimony to share with someone else and give them their own hope? I think if we take the step to really think on this before we say it, that the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts and guide us as to what we should do or say. If we need to share the testimony with the person in front of us, He will bring the words to our mouths. But if what we share could only be perceived as boasting and could serve as a stumbling block for that other person, He may very well shut our mouths.
Open or shut. May God keep me mindful of the things that I say that may hurt or edify someone else. May He guide my words correctly when encouragement is needed- and may He shut my mouth when I need to remain silent.