When people are filled with themselves, they’re really not able to love. The only reason they want to be around others it to have an audience.
One of the reasons God is down on bragging is because people who brag about themselves don’t usually brag about God. “Look what I’ve done,” replaces “Look what God did.” In 1 Corinthians 13:4, God describes true spiritual love by saying, “Love suffers long and is kind, love envies not, love vaunts not itself…” The NKJV says, “Love does not parade itself;” the NAS says, “love does not brag;” the NIV uses the word “boast.”
Actually, this is a Greek word perpereuetai that means “to go beyond or to go farther.” So, the idea is: here is a person who goes beyond what he should say. He boasts and brags to put himself forward.
Have you ever known anyone like that? Years ago when I was a college student I dated a girl like that once. Yup – once was enough. It wasn’t that she talked a lot – I wouldn’t have minded that. The problem was that she only talked about herself – a lot. It became obvious rather quickly that she wasn’t interested in me at all. I was simply a convenient audience for her favorite subject – “her.”
Now most people aren’t that extreme. They’re a little more subtle about it. But there’s a touch of braggart in all of us. From time to time, we tend to toot our own horns. We like to be noticed, and we want others to think well of us. We want them to notice we’re there.
Well, the problem is, God says that love doesn’t do that. The reason, of course, is that any self-centeredness breaks the spirit of love, and bragging is as self-centered as you can get. Love vaunts not itself; it does not parade around, it does not brag or boast.
Now you know the real meaning of the word. Remember – bragging is just another way of loving yourself. It is NOT a way of loving Christ or others.