Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Men will be boastful

By Hayley Boud

(II Timothy 3:2)

Tonight we are continuing our study of 2nd Timothy where it talks about the signs of the end days. It says that the days just before Christ returns men will be boastful.

So tonight we will answer three questions:
1. What is boasting?
2. Why is it bad to boast?
3. What are the consequences?

1. What is boasting?

To proudly tell other people about what you or someone connected with you has done or can do, or about something you own, especially to make them admire you. When you are boastful you are really eager/zealous in this area.

2. Why is it bad to boast?
“You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the LORD wills, we shall live, and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” James 4:14-16
We have to be careful with what we say to people or to ourselves because we don’t know the future. Someone who is beautiful should not boast in his/her beauty because a car accident could change that in one day. Someone who is intelligent should not boast in his/her intelligence because a hit to the head can take that away in a second. Someone who has just finished his/her studies with A++ should not boast because a fire could burn their degree easily and if you ask the uni for another certificate, you’ll not be given it. Someone who has a nice job earning lots of money should not boast as a job can be taken away easily, you can be made redundant or you could lose your eyesight. Someone who has a perfect wife should not boast because she could leave you for another man. Someone who can really work hard and achieve a lot in one day should not boast because tomorrow they could be afflicted with sickness and be able to achieve nothing. Someone who can sing could get throat cancer or someone who plays sport could get an injury. Someone who is strong could get repititive strain injury.

We have to be careful to not boast in the future because we don’t know what is going to happen. Instead we have to say if the Lord allows, then I will be able by His grace to do such and such.

And we should say, Praise God for…..whatever it is that God has given to us whether it be beauty, intelligence, studies, job, money, husband, singing, strength, sport…

If we don’t, the verse says that all such boasting is EVIL!!

E.g. Tonga is a beautiful country and many people there boast of it’s beauty but it has been predicted that in 50 years this country will be completely taken over by water and there will be no Tonga anymore. And many people in NZ boast about this great country but one day it too could be gone due to the rising in sea level as the ice melts. Where will we go?

“Love does not boast” I Corinthians 13:4
We have to be careful not to boast in a way that will hurt others. If you have a wife; praise God you have a wife because the Bible says that to have a wife is a good thing but remember those around you. Some people who don’t have a wife will feel bad. If you have a job or lots of money or a nice car or house or an ability that others don’t have, be careful in the way you talk about it to others. If you love you will be aware of how your boasting will hurt other people.

Both me and my cousin are sick and he’s been sick for longer than me but I’m getting better faster. But when I speak to him I don’t rub it in that I’m getting better because I know it will be hard for him. He will ask himself, why have I been sick for eight years and I’m not getting better and Hayley has only been sick for two years. That’s not fair. Something like that could even push him to commit suicide.

“He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.” Luke 1:51

When you think that you are someone and you consider yourself higher than others in your heart, God will scatter you. What does God mean when He says that He will scatter you? It made me think of the tower of Babel when the people of the earth all spoke the same language and they had a common goal. They decided to build a tower to reach God to prove that they were at the same level as God. God saw their proud hearts and that was when He put different languages on the earth. When everyone spoke different languages, they were confused and the project was abandoned.

The way they tried to reach the level of God by building a tower is the same as us, when we boast we are saying that we are like God and we forget that our level is much lower. God made them to be confused and scattered and this caused them to have less power, strength, ability, knowledge, wisdom, etc. No one has tried again to build a tower to reach the height that they did, it has never been accomplished. We are not able even today because we are scattered. If the world united we could achieve so much. The Chinese with their mathematics, the Samoans with their strength, the Kiwis with their ingenuity, the Africans with their traditional medicine….we could really do something amazing if we were together.

This helps us to understand that when we boast and are proud in our heart, God will scatter us and our lives will not achieve what it is capable of, we’ll have less strength, less power, less ability, less wisdom because we will be divided inside.

When you think that you are better than someone because of something you have, you forget that God is the one who gave it to you and it’s only by His grace that you have it. You are not better than someone else.

“God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble,” James 4:6
Be careful to not boast because God is opposed to the proud. We want God to be on our side not against us. Imagine entering a fighting ring and God is your opponent. Can you win? Never! But if God is on your side, you can’t lose.

3. What are the consequences of boasting?

1. It takes the glory from God
2. It makes yourself higher than others
3. Doesn’t show love; you can hurt others

1. It takes glory from GodA couple of years ago I helped a young girl at college to do a speech for her homework. I helped her a lot but I did it in a way that she wasn’t really aware of all the help that I gave her. I sat next to her night after night asking questions that would help her, correcting her grammar, helping her to practice speaking it etc. She worked really hard and she deserved to get a good mark but if I hadn’t been there she would have not even have been able to start the speech. She really needed my help. But when she gave the speech and people gave her positive comments, she took all the glory and didn’t remember that I helped her.

It’s the same with God, sometimes when we ask God for help and He answers us, we forget what He has done and we don’t even say thank you. Other times we don’t ask God for help and we are able to do something really good and we think that we did it by ourselves without the help of God. But God helped us we just didn’t realize it in the same way as the young girl didn’t realize that I had helped her. So we must thank God and give Him the glory.

2. Makes yourself higher than others
As I have already discussed, it’s important that we remain humble because God is against the proud and we don’t want to fight God. Also He scatters the proud and we want to achieve great things in our lives so it’s important to stay humble.

3. Doesn’t show love
We have had more than sixteen messages on love this year and we have learnt that it is the greatest commandment and that if we do anything on this earth but forget love, then God finds it useless. So it’s important to not boast.

No comments:

Post a Comment