Five Reasons Not to Brag

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We’ve all done it — bragged — whether intentional or not. Not only should all glory go to God for your accomplishments, but bragging may not get the reaction you think. Say you tell someone you made ten million dollars last year. Rather than the reaction you’re expecting, you may instead:

1.) Look foolish. Ten million dollars? I paid more than that last year in taxes.

2.) Hurt someone else’s feelings. I’ll never be good enough.

3.) Create a rival. I’ll show her! Next year I’ll make twenty million dollars!

4.) Cause someone to lose respect for you. I never thought he’d be so prideful.

5.) Make an enemy. I hope someone knocks her down a notch.

Does this mean you can never share your successes with others? Of course not. Just choose wisely. Try to stick with people who are really rooting for you, and whose success you feel vested in. You can talk about both successes and sorrows with special people who share your life in a meaningful way. You’ll know that they will really be happy for you when you make that ten million dollar goal and be genuinely sorry when things don’t go your way. Think about it — you know who those people are. Does anyone else’s opinion really matter?

Your turn:

Who’s the first person you tell when things go your way?

What is the best way to deal with envy?

10 Responses to Five Reasons Not to Brag

  1. Beth K. Vogt January 23, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    I deal with envy behind closed doors. I’ll admit to others that I wrestle with it, but they don’t have to see the times that envy takes me down. I truly want to celebrate other writers’ success — and if I have to go a few rounds with the “why not me?” monster in the privacy of my office before I can applaud someone else on Facebook or face-to-face, so be it.

    • Sondra Kraak January 24, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      Beth, wise words. Closed doors is the way to deal with most struggles, I think, with the few people close to us who can pray with and encourage us.

  2. Nora Spinaio January 23, 2014 at 5:47 am #

    Beth, you have your own office…..I’m just kidding of course. We all have our own successes just as we all have our own failures.

    My grandpa used to say he was proud for so-and-so whenever someone got something new. It was just how he was. Tight but happy when others received or bought things. I try to be happy whenever others do well. It’s not always easy, but try try again.

    However, I do wish I was the one making that 10 million on one of my books….perhaps in time.

    Have a lov-e-ly day all.

  3. Jeanne Takenaka January 23, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    The first person I tell when things go my way is my husband. He’s a great support and a good listener.

    I sometimes deal with envy with others who have moved beyond me in this business. When it comes, I’m learning to take my thoughts and emotions to Jesus, confess them, and ask for a re-signed heart on those matters. It is genuinely fun to celebrate with friends when they take the next step on the writing journey.

  4. Debbie January 23, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Love this! Thanks for letting the voice inside my head speak out loud.

  5. Evinda Lepins January 23, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    Tamela,
    The first one I share a success with? Hmm, I actually consider the type of success or victory and it is either my adopted mom, my hubby and if neither one of them are available and I’m just gonna pop with excitement, I’ll prayerfully consider who to share with….. all that said, there is a verse that has taught me so very much in the area of humility: Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and HE will lift you up in due time! Oh, so much truth there, so much meat to chew on! Thanks, as usual, for a thought-provoking and heart-squeezing post!

  6. Rachel Muller January 23, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    I tell my husband first then my parents and sister. With Facebook it’s so easy to talk about ‘me’ all the time and that can get under others’ skin. So I try to share only big news that seems exciting and not every little thing that I overcome.

    I find it easy to be happy for other people because that’s what God would want me to do and I know if I was the one who had something great happen, I’d want others to be happy for me too.

    It’s okay to give them a pat on the back and a smile. We may inwardly groan,wishing it were ‘me’ getting that awesome book deal, but it’s good to remember that God has His own timing and purpose. He’ll let us know when it’s our time to ‘shine’. :)

  7. sally apokedak January 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Great post!

    The best way to deal with envy is to sincerely love others. If I make a million dollars, I’m going to be happy for myself. If my son and daughter make millions, I’ll be happy for them. If someone else I love makes a million dollars I’ll be happy for that person. And since I love other Christians, it’s easy to be happy for them when they make a million dollars. (Theoretically, of course. In actuality, a million dollars would constitute a tremendous temptation for many, and I’d like God to lead us not into temptation. It really is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom. So if I ever get a million dollars, I hope I give it away as fast as I can.)

    The scenario that is a little harder for me is to see the wicked succeed while so many Christians suffer. Then Psalm 73 comes into play. You can’t envy the wicked. They are headed to hell.

    In the end, if you know that God loves you and he’s all powerful and he’s for you and giving you everything that is good for you–if you trust that every trial he allows is perfectly designed for you to make you strong and healthy and to bring you to maturity–you don’t have a lot of time to envy others. You’re too busy praising God for all he’s doing in your life.

  8. Jackie Layton January 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi Tamela,

    I always go to my husband first. Then I start contacting my family.

    I love encouraging other people, and I find it hard to brag on myself because of #2. I never want to hurt somebody’s feelings. I’d rather brag on other people’s accomplishments.

    Thanks for your post today. I always enjoy seeing what you have to share.

  9. Tamela Hancock Murray January 24, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    I have enjoyed reading all of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing!

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