“I’m prettier than she is!”
“I’m the best at that!”
These bold statements are a pattern for my four-year-old daughter. Every day for the past several weeks, she has verbalized her belief that she is prettier and better than everyone around her.
At first I didn’t know what to say or do. It seemed odd that at such an early age my daughter was struggling with boasting. But I wanted to use this as an opportunity to teach her a heart lesson about boasting from God’s perspective.
As adults we rarely, if ever, say out loud that we are prettier, smarter, or better than someone else. But how often do we think it?
It’s embarrassing to admit, but if we’re honest, we all struggle with boasting whether we’re four-years-old, fourteen-years-old, or forty-years-old.
The Bible tells us “Love does not boast,” (1 Corinthians 13:4) and “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” (Romans 12:3).
Boasting reveals a heart issue within us.
When my daughter declares that she is prettier or better, she is defending her identity that from her perspective needs defending. However, when she learns that her identity comes from being created in God’s likeness, the value in boasting goes away. There’s no longer a need. So it’s important to teach her what God’s Word says about boasting and her identity in Him.
Fourteen Bible Verses About Boasting and Identity in Christ
What does God’s Word say about boasting and our identity in Christ? Read on for wisdom that applies for all of us daughters of the King at any age:
- As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:16)
- So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! (James 3:5)
- Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:2)
- So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours. (1 Corinthians 3:21)
- But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. (James 3:14)
- Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
- Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)
- So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
- Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
- But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
- For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(Galatians 3:27-28)
- Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2)
- Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
At four-years-old, I do not expect my daughter to memorize or conceptualize all the Bible says about boasting and her identity. However, my study of these verses will train my own heart not to boast, even if my boasting is only in my thoughts, and as a result change my heart not to be vain and arrogant. And my example of humility will hopefully show my daughter Jesus’ example of humility. These verses also give me the words to use with my daughter when I am instructing her about boasting and her identity.
How can you use this list of verses to train your own heart and your daughter’s or the girls you mentor?