The Book of Proverbs is a king’s instructions to his son. On several occasions we have read proverbs where Solomon expressed a concern that the heart of his son might be lifted up in pride. Born into a household of wealth and privilege, I can imagine how easy it would be for a young prince to be carried away by the grandeur of the palace and servants ready to do his beckoning.
Solomon urged his son to understand how uncomely it is for a man to praise himself [or as some say, “beat his own drum”].
Proverbs 27:2 – “Let another man praise [boast; celebrate; sing your praises] thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips [speech].”
There are few things as repulsive as a man or woman who glories in boasting their own achievements. It is the nature of man to “proclaim every one his own goodness” (Proverbs 20:6), but such a man has forgotten the raw clay out of which he was taken. Praise and acknowledgement is rewarding, but they ring hollow when expressed by our own lips.
Why is this self-congratulatory spirit so distasteful to man and inappropriate before God?
Answer – Because it is not the Spirit of God, but the spirit of the devil. Notice in the following passage the number of times Satan, here addressed as the fallen angel Lucifer, boasts with the personal pronoun “I”.
Isaiah 14:12-15 – “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! 13 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: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
How much of your conversations with others is focused on yourself? Are you given to bragging and boasting? Look at your Facebook page, pictures and blog and be honest about where you tend to focus. The ugly little secret is—others have already noticed how much of your life is self-focused.