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  • Shawn Thornton

Humblebragging and God’s Word

Sunday - January 10th

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 1:21-25


Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives,

and humbly accept the word

God has planted in your hearts.

James 1:21 NLT

Since the arrival of social networks, the art of bragging has evolved. People have become more subtle and nuanced. Enter the humblebrag. According to, humblebragging occurs when you "want to boast but pretend to be modest about it," or if "you gripe about something most people desire."

Harris Wittels, a writer and producer for the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation, is credited for creating the word. Wittels noticed an emerging trend in which social media users posted modest and self-deprecating posts that either bragged or complained about something desirable. He created a Twitter account to share with others actual humblebrags he discovered on social media.

Social media historians (yes, there is such a thing) indicate 2012 was the worst year for humblebragging. Here is a classic example of a humblebrag from 2012 by an actress with a brand-new Lamborghini: "Man, this is SO unfair! Why did the Lambo dealership not tell me I'd get pulled over at least once a week in this car? Time for a Corolla, lol!"

Maybe you have been guilty of humblebragging. I know I have. As I look back on some of my old social media posts, I am embarrassed when I see my own humblebrags. Pride, in any form, destroys us and damages others.

Yesterday, as we unpacked the first phrase of James 1:21, we talked about removing areas of temptation that might lead us down paths of sin. James goes beyond what we need to get rid of. He also tells us what will clean out our lives and fill the void left by removing sinful thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes - God's Word.

As Jesus prayed for His disciples, He prayed, "Sanctify them by the truth, Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). James told us how we are to accept "the Word God has planted in our hearts" (James 1:21). He said we should embrace the Word of God humbly. Humility is the prerequisite to embracing God's truth and letting it do the work God intended when He planted it in our hearts. Arrogance thwarts the work of the Scriptures in purifying our lives.

Whether you call it vanity, boasting, or humblebragging, pride locks us into the filth and evil we need to eliminate from our lives. Humility requires a submissive, attentive, and receptive spirit. You cannot express humility at the same time you express any form of pride.

If you want God's Word to purify and transform your life, start with genuine, Christ-like humility. Look for and confess any pockets of arrogance or vanity in your heart. Humble yourself and let God's Word do the work the Lord intended it to do.

Humility precedes any spiritual growth. Humility gets us out of the way of God's Word doing its work in us!


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