I Corinthians 13:4b, “… Charity vaunted not itself … ” (KJV)
According to the on-line free dictionary, “to vaunt” means “to speak boastfully of; brag about.” It is derived from the Latin word vantus which means 2 things – (1) to talk frivolously and (2) empty.
Boasting in anything EXCEPT in God is EMPTY, isn’t it! II Corinthians 10:17 says, “But he that glorifieth, let him glory in the Lord.” While respectfully praising your spouse is something you can do to build him/her up, BRAGGING and even EXAGGERATING about him/her to make others think more highly of you OR to make others jealous is NOT a good thing. I’ve found that people who have to brag a lot or boast in their own accomplishments all the time have an inherent need for attention or feel like they have prove something. Oftentimes, boasting is linked to pride. It is much better to follow Proverbs 27:2:
“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.”
That may mean that sometimes what you do is overlooked if ANOTHER MAN does not see/know what you do … but then again, if you check your motives, why do you do what you do? To help others or to glorify God??! I am writing this not because I have such vast experience in self denial or self depreciation – but because I have observed this behavior in others and IN MYSELF. (Isn’t it often true that when you research about something, YOU end up learning far more than those with whom you are sharing!!?)
Of course, I had to check in with my favorite Bible commentator, Matthew Henry for his perspective:
“True love will give us an esteem of our brethren, and this will limit our esteem of ourselves.” I could stop right there. And I think I will. 🙂