During the fall months I work high school football games in the press box and serve as the public address announcer. I enjoy it and have done it for over twenty-five years. Many of the men that work the games are dear friends of mine. We have spent a lot of time together.
This past year some new equipment was installed and the company responsible for it had to have someone there for every game to insure that it was working properly. Typically, there are eight to twelve people in the press box ranging from officials keeping the clock, radio announcers, sports writers, and others.
As I mentioned we all know each other pretty well, but the new guy that was there to monitor the freshly installed equipment crashed the party! I am not overstating what I am about to write at all. He talked the entire game, every week. (This is about three hours average). Not only was he constantly talking, but he was loud, obnoxious and the dominant theme of his conversation was boasting.
He boasted about his company, how much he knew about football, the people he knew and the places he worked (he excelled at name-dropping), and other areas. In all of the years I have been working there I can’t remember anyone that wore us out as a crew like this insufferable bore did. Like a stuck record (the young people won’t understand that metaphor), he went on and on and on and on – about himself!
It was a relief to finally leave the press box at the end of the game. I’m looking forward to next year when he won’t be there. What was his problem? He was proud.
Pride is manifested through our words. If you spend enough time with a person and just listen to them speak you can detect pride. They love to boast.
When we boast we rob God of glory that is due to Him (boasting is seeking glory or credit) and also mimic Satan. The devil’s pride was first evidenced by his boasting.
The Bible gives a list of qualifications for a pastor and one of them is that he not be a young Christian, or a “novice”. There are a lot of good reasons for that, but God gives the primary cause for this restriction. A pastor is not to be “…a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil”. (I Timothy 3:6)
When a young believer is elevated to a position of spiritual authority too soon it is a great temptation to pride. One of the consequences is that he will “fall into the condemnation of the devil”. That begs a question: what was the condemnation of Satan? It was his pride that was evidenced by boasting.
Here is the record of Satan’s rebellion against God as the ultimate authority in the universe. Note the five separate occasions he states “I will” and that each of them has to do with boasting so that he might receive glory.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Our sin nature is prone to pride and boasting. Someone said, “No man having caught a large fish goes through the back alley”. It’s humorous, sad, and true! We have a desire to be praised and to be able to boast about what we have done.
The more power one has the greater the temptation to be proud and to boast of his accomplishments. The Bible speaks about “…the pride of your power…” (Leviticus 26:19) Power can lead to arrogance.
God warns against boasting frequently in His Word – “It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory”. (Proverbs 25:27) Too much honey is not good for a person nor is too much praise. We begin to believe our own press clippings and believe we deserve the lion’s share of the credit. It is our pride that causes us to do this.
Humility will cause us to deflect praise when we are recognized. We are to be grateful for kind words that honor us, but at the same moment it is an opportunity to give honor to the Lord and other people that have helped you.
Bill Gothard wrote, “Pride is believing that I have achieved what others and God have done for me”. Also, he states that humility is “recognizing that it is actually God and others who are responsible for the achievements in my life”. It is either one or the other, isn’t it?
A boasting man is not a grateful man. Pride and gratitude do not exist in the same heart. Gothard says that “gratitude is communicating to others in precise ways how they have benefited my life and looking for ways to honor them”. A proud, boasting person refuses to do this because it takes the focus off of them.
One way God conquers pride in one’s life is to place them in an obscure place where he doesn’t receive recognition. In that place there is no one to brag on them. It is futile for a person to exult their perceived self-importance. No one is there to listen and be impressed.
When we begin to become content with simply knowing that God is aware of what we have done we are on the road to humility. Do not seek credit or recognition. If it comes deflect it to God and those that have helped you.
The Bible warns us, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2) A clear command, but not easy to follow unless you die to your pride.
Be faithful to your tasks and others will take notice soon enough. You will be encouraged and you can honor the Lord and those that have helped you along the way.
Braggarts and boasters overestimate their importance. Curtis Hutson said, “You can’t tell how much gas is in the tank by the honk of the horn”. Let your performance do the talking for you.
One wisecrack said, “Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the person who has it”.
Go back to the opening story about the new guy in the press box this past season. This is what was sad to me about all of his boasting. He had to be at some other sites for three or four games and his son was in the press box to replace him. I suppose his son was in his late-20’s.
Incredibly, the son was just like his dad! He monopolized the conversation and was full of himself. One night as I sat there I asked myself a question, “Do I cause others to react this way to me because of my pride and boasting spirit?” I wondered what kind of influence I was having on my sons and daughters. Were they seeing humility in my life or a proud father?
Being in that environment all season gave me a deep desire to want to keep my mouth shut and shun the spot light and put it on others. My kids are listening to the words I use every day – and it is influencing them for good or for bad.