I’ve scored the highest_________
My children have___________
My grandchildren can___________
My wife is__________
I am friends with______
I work for_______
My title is______
I will let you fill in the blanks, then you will get to brag a little too. It’s not a trap so that you will appear self-centred or arrogant but rather a reminder that we have all got things to brag about. I assume that you, like me, would rather label this as sharing my joyful moments and accomplishments; bragging has such a negative stigma attached to it.
Okay, now I am going to brag, but just a Little.
I love to tell people that I have three sons, two grandsons and one granddaughter. I guess that’s bragging or as I said before, sharing my joyful moments and accomplishments. My wife did not appreciate me pointing at her belly when she was pregnant and announcing loudly, “look what I did” even though I called it sharing my joyful moments and accomplishments. Okay, as far as I can remember, I never said that, but I sure wanted to.
As I shared in my past blog, It is the Best of Times, It is the Worst of Times, having three children that survived long enough to be viable outside the womb was a blessing. Short of participating in the act required for procreation (sorry, I am trying to make a point but may just be making you squirm), my wife and I had very little control over what happened to our unborn children. For me to brag about my children and grandchildren is to take credit for something out of my control.
Who I see in my joyful moments and accomplishments will have an impact on how I see myself.
Last weekend my third grandchild was born. Terms like the miracle of birth are used to describe a baby coming into this world. I was present at the births of my three children and miracle was not the first word that came to mind. I have not been present at the births of any of my grandchildren; I was not asked and for that I am truly grateful. What I did see once I held my new grandson was a miracle from God given to my son and daughter-in-law who knew that having any children, let alone two, may not be possible. Again, short of participating in the act required for procreation (sorry, I am trying to make a point but may just be making you and definitely me, squirm) they had very little control over what happened.
It doesn’t matter if the outcome was a longshot or considered to be the norm, who we see in the middle of our joyful moments and accomplishments will have an impact on how we see ourselves. If we see it as a result of only our efforts and/or the efforts of someone else, we change life into a battle to be won or lost by our abilities and failings.
Not all moments are joyful and not all efforts lead to accomplishments but not one is faced without God.
It is the norm for most of us to talk about everything that has gone right as if we have accomplished something great and limit or avoid conversations that allude to things that have been less than successful. If I do not include God when I experience the highs of life, the accomplishments, I become more likely to ignore Him and possibly blame Him when I experience the lows. If I can’t praise Him for what I perceive as good I will most likely not rely on Him when I go through the things I see as bad. No one should consider this easy but everyone should consider it necessary. If I brag about God in my joyful moments and accomplishments, it will lead me to do the same in those times that lack any joy or do not produce positive results.
Let’s start to brag a lot about our God instead of a little about ourselves:
- God has blessed me with______
- God has intervened miraculously in______
- God has comforted me when______
- God has sustained me during______
- God has led me through______
- …and He will continue until the day He calls you home.
But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17 (NIV)