A Problem of Faith

Yael Eckstein  |  April 23, 2023

Man and woman looking at each other looking irritated.

May the LORD silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
     our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?” —
Psalm 12:3-4

We start out every week with an inspirational lesson from the beloved Psalms. For centuries, these ancient poems of King David and others have been the foundation for Jewish and Christian worship. Enjoy!

Have you ever known someone who talks about themself a bit too much? I think we all know someone like that. There’s an old Yiddish expression that goes something like this, “A coinbox that’s almost empty makes a lot of noise when you shake it.”

In other words, when people spend a bit too much time and effort telling you all about how great they are, there’s usually not much there!

Regarding people who brag and act arrogantly, the Jewish sages in the Talmud taught, “Regarding the braggart God says: ‘There is no room for both Me and him in the world.’”

In other words, what the sages are teaching us is that there is a deeper problem with arrogant bragging than simply the annoyance of listening to someone who talks about themself too much. Boasting is actually a problem of faith.

A Problem of Faith

We see this lesson in Psalm 12, “May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue, those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?” A person who truly accepts and acknowledges the presence of God will never boast. How could they?

Faith in God means that we know that everything is from Him. We have nothing that is not a direct gift from Him to be used for His purposes. If a person has this proper faith perspective, why would they ever be boastful? If the gifts and success that God has blessed me with are a blessing from Him, what is there for me to be overly proud of?

What’s more, most of the time, people who are boastful overstate and embellish the facts to make themselves look better. Excessive boastfulness often goes together with dishonesty. But if they had true faith in God, Who knows what is true, they clearly would never stretch the truth.

Boastful and arrogant speech actually banishes God from our lives. Real faith in God automatically leads to humility and honesty.

Your Turn:

Let’s commit ourselves to humble speech, honoring God for all that we are and all that we have.