Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Tongue - Week 4

  "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips."

Proverbs 27:2 (English Standard Version)

There are some very common sayings floating around in our world that no one seems to challenge.  Just this week I heard someone relaying a story about how they were telling someone from another country that they had to "sell themselves" in a job interview.  Sometimes there is a grain of truth in common sayings.  Of course one has to talk up accomplishments in a job interview.  The interviewer is looking for ways one stands out in the pack of applicants and truly there is no one else there to speak for you!  There is a time and place for that kind of selling of oneself.

Can you see any problems with the common assumptions below?  

"Toot your horn."

"Look out for number one."

"If I don't look out for me, who will?"

Push back against the spoken and unspoken assumptions of society.  No, you don't have to toot your own horn.  See the verse at the top of the page.  No, you don't have to look out for number one, because you know what?  You are not number one.  Surprise!  If I don't look out for me who will?  Really?  Do you not have a powerful, loving Heavenly Father?  Push back, people, there are a lot of assumptions out there that are crap.....to put it indelicately.

People will praise us.  Someone will shine a spotlight on us and it will feel good.  But be careful. There are a lot of verses in the Bible warning the reader against lips that flatter.  Flatterers have ulterior motives for praising you.  Good to know, right?  God help us to learn the difference between genuine praise / encouragement and flattery. 


What does the Bible say we should be boasting about?

Jeremiah 9:23-24    English Standard Version (ESV)

23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

The Jeremiah passage speaks to what boasts should come out of our mouths.  Boast in God and what he has done in your life, seek to decrease while he increases in your thoughts and adoration.   


  1. Love this! great exhortations. I admit I like to be commended. I can tell the difference between abject flattery :) or a heartfelt "atta girl" from someone - like you - who is trying to move along the road - a long obedience? - in the right direction. Well said, as always, Karen.

  2. Especially like the graphic at the end of the article! Squeeze out Me & let Christ Be (ha! a moment of inspired words! [just pretend])