OceanSide church of Christ

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Charity Vaunteth Not Itself

Victor M. Eskew




A.   How do these words make you feel? (Luke 18:11-12)


The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.


1.    They make us feel:

a.    Upset, disgusted, angry, turned off

b.    Sorry for the one who said them

2.    What do we call such expressions?  Bragging and boasting

3.    The Pharisee does not love the publican at all.


B.   One of the descriptions of love is:  “Charity vaunteth not itself” (I Cor. 13:4).


C.   We will look at this negative quality of love in three ways.

1.    Definition of the action

2.    Bible examples of it

3.    Make some practical application




A.   Vaunteth

1.    Strong (4068):  braggart, to boast

2.    Thayer:  to boast one’s self, a self-display, employing rhetorical embellish-ments or extolling one’s self excessively


B.   The word may have come from a term involving the “bray” of a trumpet, or, it could have come from an Old Norse word “bragn” meaning “the best.”


C.   In his book on I Corinthians 13, David Jeremiah calls it “pride on the outside” (p. 42).


D.   There are two aspects of the definition:

1.    Superiority to others

2.    A feeling of contempt and disregard for others.


E.   Love “…does not set itself forward – does not desire to be noticed or applauded…” (e-sword, Clarke).




A.   Haman versus Morcedai (Esth. 6:4-12)


And the king said, Who is in the court?  Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.  And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold Haman standeth in the court.  And the king said, Let him come in.  So Haman came it.  And the king said, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour?  Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?  And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:  and let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.  Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate:  let nothing fail of all thou hast spoken.  Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thu shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.  And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate.  But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.


B.   The publican (Luke 18:13)


And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying God be merciful to me a sinner.


C.   The religious leaders of Jesus’s day verses Jesus’ teaching

1.    Alms (Matt. 6:1-4)

2.    Prayer (Matt. 6:5-8)

3.    Fasting (Matt. 6:16-18)




A.   Our world makes boasting “normal” and necessary.

1.    The interview process

2.    The athlete who is interviewed

3.    The political process


B.   Vaunting self can involve just one person or a group of persons.

1.    Perhaps we feel a need to make ourselves superior to just one other person.

2.    We can seek to vaunt ourselves over a group of people (i.e., Hitler over the Jews).


C.   What it looks like.

1.    I do it best.

2.    I am the most thorough.

3.    I do not waste.

4.    I have the best ideas.

5.    I am more organized.

6.    I read people better.

7.    I care for others more.

8.    I understand people better.


D.   How to not vaunt yourself.

1.    Put others first, not yourself.

a.    Love replaces “I” with “you.”

b.    Look for the talents and positive traits of others and boast of them.

c.    Philippians 2:3b-4


In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.


2.    Drop comparisons between ourselves and others.

3.    Don’t brag on our talents.  USE THEM!!!

a.    A braggart has an image problem.  He wants to create an image of himself that he wants others to believe.

b.    NOTE:  Often the image is not as real as the person.

c.    If you use your talents, others will know your capabilities.  Most will respect them, even though they may not brag about them.




A.   Love does not say:  “Look how wonderful I am!”


B.   Proverbs 27:2


Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.