by | Nov 23, 2015 | 2015, Musings | 0 comments

I ate with the younger children of Stoneybrooke the other day. The table manners were a riot, and so was the conversation. My favorite bit of chatting occurred with a first grade boy. He was extolling his own prowess on the playground. He told me all about his skills at tetherball. And then announced that he was 4th best at dodge ball.  dodgeball_page__large

I had to laugh out loud…4th best! Even for a 6 year old, there is a definite pecking order for everything. And he is proud of it. He loved tooting his own horn.

We adults do a lot of boasting too. Maybe we are a bit more subtle, but we get the message across. Have you ever heard a mother refer to her child as an average student? Any dads ever recognize their sons as “typical” ball players?

And any of your friends brag about living in a run down section of town? What kinds of bumper stickers or license plates grab your attention on the road? Ever see one that extolls the virtue of living in a non-gated community? Have you seen one that brags about your favorite store, hotel, school or restaurant as being mediocre?

In East of Eden, John Steinbeck wrote, “Perhaps, the less we have, the more we are required to brag.”

Paul addressed these issues in his letter to the Galatians. In the context of making a big deal about one’s own spirituality, he mentions the Jewish believers who want to force the Gentiles to be circumcised. It provided for a kind of “spiritual pecking order.” They were focused on glorying in the flesh.

And Paul retorts, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.”

That would be a great mantra for all of us this season!

As you read this, it is probably Thanksgiving week. It is a time to turn our attention away from ourselves, our accomplishments, our processions, and our claims to fame and instead focus on what Christ has done for us.

So bottom line, no boasting, I don’t care if you are 4th best at dodge ball!


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