How to be a Better Boaster

Have you ever tried boasting? It’s so deeply satisfying. Basically you spend your time showing how you are bigger, better, stronger, faster, wiser, and more wonderful than everyone else.

You can do it anywhere. You can boast at home, at school, at work, with friends, on the sports field, in the coffee shop, and on and on and on. It’s really limitless. Boasting has no boundaries or borders. You can even do it in church (I’ll give you some bonus tips on that below). One of the best places is social media; it’s been tailor made for boasters. And if you’re a bit shy, you can still boast in your own heart without anyone else knowing about it. That gives you such an amazing sense of smug self-satisfaction

Subjects? Take your pick; it’s endless. You can boast about your marriage, your children, your work ethic, your health, your brains, your degrees, your friends, your looks, your fashion sense, your income, your investments, your car, your house, your career, and you can even turn sufferings into a boast. As for tips for boasting in church, try letting everyone know how much money you give, how loving you are to the poor, how much you pray and read your Bible, how many charities you support, how spiritual you are, even how humble you are.

You want some examples? OK, here are some concrete ideas for your next steps:

Tell the same story again and again. “Did I ever tell you about when I won the ….(e.g. top student award)?” You can fill in the gap with anything, but just be sure to keep saying this again and again. It doesn’t matter if people have heard it before, because people often forget how brilliant we are.

You can also take a success and exaggerate for greater impact. Don’t just say, “I caught a fish.” Say, “I caught a huge fish and it took me all my strength and skill to get it in.”

And why not tell things publicly which many people think should be kept private. Here’s an example: “I evangelized ten people this week.” There’s some Bible verse about not doing our religious deeds before others, but obviously that doesn’t apply to evangelism. It will encourage others of course, to hear how good you are at this.

An old favorite is just to talk and talk about yourself and never ask questions of other people. Your life is far more interesting after all, and it would really be just a waste of time to hear what other people are doing. If they start talking, pretend to listen while you think up a way of breaking into the conversation and getting the spotlight back on yourself.

Then there’s one-upping and one-downing. They often go well together. One-upping is when you hear someone’s story and you better it. An example would be, “Oh you work fifty hours a week? I usually work seventy.” A favorite one-downer is something like, “They’re really not very good parents.” That has the benefit of not only putting other people down but also implying that you’re quite the expert on the topic. That’s quite subtle and not easy for boasters to pull-off, but with practice it can become really effective.

Try some story-topping as well. “You saved a hundred dollars at the sales? Great! That’s amazing! Believe it or not, I managed to save two hundred dollars, and really without trying.”

Numbers are key to boasting. You’ve got to get adept at counting people, dollars, degrees, clients, employees, years of service, and so on. This has become quite acceptable in church circles now, so don’t be shy. Numbers of baptisms, members, staff; size of budget, size of church building; how many missionaries sent, how many churches planted; how many books you’ve read, or written. Really, anything that makes you look better than other Christians or pastors. I heard someone the other day tell their pastor that they’d just managed to read their first volume of John Owen. I was really impressed with the pastor’s reply: “O, I finished all his works by age 13.” Perfect!

Drop some names here and there as well. “When I was at lunch with Donald the other day,” or “When I was counseling Oprah the other day.” Let them ask, “Donald who?” or “Not Oprah Winfrey?” and then you can kind of combine humility with your bragging.

Which brings me to the best boast of all – the humblebrag. Great name, eh? And great technique. Here’s how. “I’m so humbled that God gave me such an amazing talent.” Or “I can’t believe I get to preach to two thousand people every Sunday.” See how you can use humility to boast? It’s incredible isn’t it.

Virtue-signaling is a recent innovation, and we’re still refining it, but it’s a way of show-casing your own virtue to gain you higher standing in a social group. Some good ones I’ve seen on social media are: “Saying prayers for the poor in Africa,” or, “Grieving over global warming.”

Social media has also made it possible to boast without saying anything. Post pictures of top class restaurants, white sandy beaches, new cars, etc. Or post photos with people that will reflect well on you and make people think well of you.

Lastly, the old faithful, and the ultimate fall-back if all else fails, the Pharisee boast. “Lord I thank you that I’m not like other people….” You know how to finish it. What I like about this one is how easy it is to disguise thankfulness to self with thankfulness to God.

As you can see there’s no shortage of ways to boast. It’s pretty addictive actually. Just keep the ultimate aim in mind which is praise, respect, attention, promotion, recognition, and popularity. In fact, at heart, it’s really all about worship, self-worship and getting others to worship you. Try some of these ways I’ve suggested and you shall be as god.


Check out

Blogs

You may be wondering why you’re not seeing so many Christian bogs in your Facebook feed. Tim Challies and Mike Leake’s articles below will help you understand what Facebook is doing and how you can beat it using Feedly.com.

Beating Facebook’s Algorithm and Being Your Own Curator

How Facebook Is Taking Away Your Freedom of Access

Can We Reconcile Justice and Forgiveness?
Rachael Den Hollander’s outstanding address at the Veritas Foundation at Harvard.

An Open Letter to the Hesitant Host
“Over the years, we have come to learn this. What stops us from practicing hospitality is our plenty, not our lack. We have too much, and we love too much what we have. Statistics have borne out this truth: meager homes and poor churches give and gather more; wealthy homes and upscale churches horde and micromanage more.”

Chris Moles Podcast on Domestic Violence
“Domestic violence is an extremely challenging issue to address. This week’s guest, Chris Moles, has over 17 years of experience dealing with this difficult topic. Chris has worked with the state and through the church to help both the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. He and Curtis discuss some of the issues related to this challenging topic and offer resources for further education.”

Google Spent years studying effective teams- this is what they found
“So what was the most important factor contributing to a team’s effectiveness? It was psychological safety. Simply put, psychological safety refers to an individual’s perception of taking a risk, and the response his or her teammates will have to taking that risk.”

Kindle Books

A number of volumes in Geerhardus Vos’s Reformed Dogmatics are on offer at $5.99.

Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name by Bryan Chapell $1.99.

Understanding the Bible by Dr. John R.W. Stott $2.99.


Expedition 14: A Captive Nation

Here’s the video to show your kids at the end of Expedition 14 of Exploring the BibleIf you want to bookmark a page where all the videos will eventually appear, you can find them on my blog, on YouTube, or the Facebook page for Exploring the Bible.

If you haven’t started your kids on the book yet, you can begin anytime and use it with any Bible version. Here are some sample pages.

You can get it at RHBWestminster BooksCrossway, or Amazon. If you’re in Canada use Reformed Book Services. Some of these retailers have good discounts for bulk purchases by churches and schools.


Check out

Blogs

If They Fell, So Can You: How Sin Seduced the Strongest, Wisest, and Godliest
“We are tempted to think that the more powerful we become, the better we will battle sin. But the exact opposite is true. The more power, influence, or prestige we possess, the more temptable we are. The strength of sin feeds on our sense of strength.”

On Pastoral Failings and the Fallout“Let’s not waste these painful moments of sin and sorrow. Let’s not presume that we are above a fall. Instead, let’s persevere with a holy stamina in life and doctrine, so that Jesus is exalted and His people are edified.”

4 Lessons I Learned from My Dad, a Faithful Pastor for 37 Years
And in contrast to the first two articles: “A 37-year ministry in a single, small church is not splashy. But thanks to the long obedience of one ordinary man, I came to know and love Christ the Savior of sinners, to cherish Christ as he is revealed in his Word, to love the church for which Christ died, and to desire to serve Christ in all the circumstances of my life.”

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
“While many Christians are rightly concerned about the growth of religions such as Islam, the greatest threat to orthodox Christianity is not other religions but false teachers who creep into the church unnoticed.”

How To Control Your Calendar
“We should be reluctant to blame God, however, for our clogged calendars when they are often caused by our own procrastination or poor planning. In my last LifeWay Pastors post I listed, “take control of your calendars” as one of the ways I keep from getting overwhelmed. Today I want to share how I try to control my calendar throughout the year.”

How to Avoid Living a Fragmented Life
“We are truly whole, individually and corporately, in Christ already. His wholeness has been declared true for us as persons and as a people. So how should we then live? We lay hold of those promises in Christ, and we repent toward the wholeness that we have in Him. We confidently pursue the wholeness to which we have been saved.”

Where Did the Pope Come From?
“The world, both religious and secular, seems to yearn for a global figure that no political institution and no international organization can provide at the moment. Therefore, Protestants are pressed with the question, Does the world need a leader in order to live in peace? It’s a question that continues to be posed to Bible-believing Christians, especially in times when the pope attracts much attention and is looked at as being one of the few, if not the only one, who can speak on behalf of all. The troublesome reality, however, is that the pope continues to claim religious and political roles that are biblically unwarranted. As the church does not need a mere human pope to be united, so the world does not need a global religious leader, other than Christ himself, to live in peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). The church and the world need Jesus Christ, and him alone.”

In My Place Condemned He Stood
Excellent article from Kevin DeYoung on penal substitution.

One Pastor’s Sermon Preparation Process
“Preparing a sermon week after week is a lot of work. Preaching a sermon week after week is also a pure joy. This past week I posted pictures of my sermon preparation process on Twitter, and several pastors and church leaders commented that it was helpful for them. I figured I would publish this blog post with a little explanation for each step.”

Kindle Books

The Cross and Christian Ministry: An Exposition of Passages from 1 Corinthians by D. A. Carson $1.99.

Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie That Binds Evangelicals Together by R. C. Sproul $1.99.

Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World by David F. Wells


Check out

Blogs

10 Most Significant Discoveries in the Field of Biblical Archaeology
“Biblical archaeology is a wide field offering modern readers fascinating insights into the everyday lives of people mentioned in the Bible. While archaeological findings don’t prove the truth of Scripture, they do have the potential to enrich our understanding and draw us into the world of the biblical writers—giving us a glimpse of the ancient world behind the living Word. Here are the ten most significant discoveries in the field of biblical archaeology:”

Special Needs Kids Don’t Need Special Parents
“The God of Moses calls us to the “impossible” task of special needs parenting so that we may demonstrate his greater power that is at work within us. In spite of our glaring inadequacy and lack, God will do what only a supernatural God can do. He is God. We are not. It is his responsibility to assign, transform, provide, and deliver.”

Signs of over-hyped psychotherapy treatment?
“Donald Meichenbaum and Scott Lilienfeld have recently published a short essay entitled: How to spot hype in the field of psychotherapy: A 19-item checklist. This can be helpful for both counselors and future clients who are both hungry for finding “what works.”"

Why I Almost Didn’t Write the Book AND Why I Have Already Struggled to Promote It
“In the last several weeks, multiple leaders I love and respect have been in the public spotlight for moral failure or accusations of moral failure. I did not want to tweet promotions for the book in the midst of articles being posted online, partly because I don’t want to be perceived as opportunistic, but even more so (I believe this is my motivation) because I don’t want to add to their hurt. They know they have fallen. They are in the middle of the fallout from their implosion and I don’t want to add to their pain. I also don’t want to help foster our obsession with watching leaders fall.”

Let’s Rethink Our Language of ‘Calling’
“Here are four ways to think about calling that can help us pave a more helpful way forward.”

The Spirit’s Role: The Life of Jesus
“Most of the time when we think of the earthly life of Jesus, we think of how he demonstrated his power and manifest that he was the Son of God. On occasion, we think about how he demonstrated his humility in the weakness of his incarnation particularly at Gethsemane and Golgotha. One area we often overlook is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christ.”

Watchfulness: Recovering a Lost Spiritual Discipline
“Watchfulness consists of four essential ingredients: wakefulness, attentiveness, vigilance, and expectancy. Watching involves staying awake both morally and spiritually; paying attention to God’s word, to our own souls, and especially to Christ Himself; maintaining vigilance against our mortal enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil; and hoping in the Lord—in His promises and His return.”

Does the Old Testament Teach Resurrection Hope?
“We need to read the Bible like Jesus did. He looked into the pages of the Old Testament and saw a God of life, whose power prevails over the grave.”

Kindle Books

Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1–8 by John Fesko $2.99.

How We Got the Bible by Neil R. Lightfoot $2.39.