The humble brag-the act of stating a truth, but in a way that subtly allows you to brag about yourself in the way you say or bring it up. I caught myself doing it just the other day. A friend asked about how my knee was doing. I said something like “very well, thanks. I had a doctor’s appointment and he cleared me to be off crutches, not use my brace and because I am doing so well, I can drive again.” All true, but did you catch the little humble brag-“because I’m doing so well”?
I could have easily stated the truth without that little additional comment. But having worked hard, I’m proud of doing well and being able to drive again. Thus, the humble brag slipped in. I knew as soon as I said it. It wasn’t necessary. My friend would have been just as happy for me without the humble brag. It may not seem like a big deal. It’s not like I lied. But the humble brag is a slippery slope.
Being humble is not applauded in our society. It’s the opposite, especially on social media. From childhood on, we are encouraged to share and tell others about our accomplishments for college, our jobs and to accomplish our goals.
I want to encourage and help others. But I have a difficult time “tooting my own horn” as they say, on social media. However, social media allows me to encourage and help more people. How to do that in a humble, Christ like way is where I struggle.
Jesus described being humble to his disciples in Matthew 18: 1-4:
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
In his Sermon on the Mount He said this:
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. ~Matthew 5:5
Jesus is telling us to put others first. Put ourselves last. We shouldn’t brag, even in a humble way. Always be truthful, but there’s no need to embellish. Peter, James and Paul all wrote about being humble like Jesus. I like the way Paul puts it in Philippians 2: 3-5
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Jesus could have been the ultimate humble bragger, but He wasn’t. He let His actions speak instead. He was humble, loving and always put others first, even to the point of death.
The slippery slope of the humble brag leads me to pride, sin and is a way for the devil to get a foothold in my life. I want to follow Jesus’ footprints, not the enemy’s.
Will the world always notice what I do if I am humble? Maybe not. But God will.