Do you have a middle schooler? If not you can spot them easily because they preen, like a peacock, around anyone who will glance their way. Boasting about things they find valuable: their best score on a popular video game, points scored in a basketball game, grades, popularity, or possessions. Teens are especially eager to prove they are better than others. Any accomplishment works in their self-absorbed little worlds.
Let’s not be too hard on adolescents. Adults do this too. Achieving the top status of your profession, being published, believing high praise for leading a Bible study, even having the nicest yard in the neighborhood feeds our Edenic desire to be better than others. Like Eve who succumbed to the temptation to be like God, the next step being better than God, we are no different. Not at all.
How desperately we need the better covenant Jesus enacted. Ezekiel explained this to God’s people when he quoted God saying, “I will give you a new heart…I will remove the heart of stone…and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and cause you to walk in My statues” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Jesus fulfilled this promise with a new and better covenant, known as the New Testament. His word gave us a new way of living: “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another…” (John 13:34). And He promised “…the Spirit of truth…will be with you and in you” (John 14:17).
Jesus’ promises are better because they are perfect. And unlike us, He cannot lie. (See Hebrews 6:18.) Every promise has been or will be fulfilled to the letter.
-Talk together about how different our boastings are compared to Jesus’ promises.
-Make a list of those things you boast in. Don’t forget hidden things like when you walk in a room and instantly size up everyone in comparison to yourself, finding a small detail where you are better.
-Are you making yourself better than others or are you making others aware of Jesus who is better than all?