Don’t Toot Your Own Horn


Proverbs 16:18 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.”

We all love accolades. It’s part of our society. It is nice to receive honor, and the Bible clearly tells us to give honor where honor is due. However, we are never the best person to judge whether we should be honored. We are biased to say the least. We will either think we deserve nothing, or worse yet we think we deserve the most. Growing up there was a pretty common saying, “Don’t toot your own horn.” It was a reminder to not brag on yourself.

Most of us ignore a braggart. We shy away from those arrogant, know-it-all types. We don’t want them on our team. They simply aren’t good team players. How about at Church, those shooting stars that give glowing reports of all their good deeds? The common denominator in all of their “testimonies” isn’t the goodness of God, it’s their so-called spirituality. They begin their sentences with “I”, not “God”. In trying to honor themselves they end up looking fake-y and flaky. Those types of people have very little true impact on the Body of Christ, unless it is in a negative way. Any motivation other than love doesn’t accomplish anything for the Kingdom. Self aggrandizement isn’t a fruit of the Spirit, and Proverbs 16 clearly tells us that pride comes before a fall. That doesn’t sound like honor.

Luke 14:11 (NASB), “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Even Jesus said that if He bore witness of Himself that His witness wouldn’t be true. He let His works speak for themselves.

John 5:31, 36 (NIV), “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true… I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish–the very works that I am doing–testify that the Father has sent me.”

We don’t have to tell everyone all the “good things” we do. Just do it! If you have a true testimony of what God did share it, but those testimonies never include “God used me to bless so and so.” I am sorry if this steps on some toes, but that isn’t a true testimony. Why not just testify, “so and so had a need and God met that need.” No need to bring ourselves into the picture at all. This glorifies the One who deserves it. We can’t love the praise of men. It keeps us from serving God rightly.

John 12:43 (NLT), “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”

Myself, I want to hear Him say, “well done,” not another person who is just like me.

John 7:18 (NET Bible), “The person who speaks on his own authority desires to receive honor for himself; the one who desires the honor of the one who sent him is a man of integrity, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

Been “tooting your own horn”? Check your heart.

Let love motivate you, and give all praise to God.

Which Do You Choose?


I recently watched an old version of Shakespeare’s, “The Merchant of Venice.”
I love the symbolism of the three chests. Whoever chooses the right one wins the hand of the fair maiden.

First there is the Gold chest! Shining and glittering with promise of wealth and riches. The inscription on this chest reads,
“Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.”

Chest two is silver. It still has some shine, maybe not the glitter. It reads,
“Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”

The third chest is a simple lead chest. Not worth much, no shine, no glitter, only the inscription,
“Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”

The first chest seems to promise much. But is what we desire always what’s best for us? The answer is no! If you were to choose this one your answer would be,
“All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold,
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.”
If you chose this one, you will quickly realize the mistake. What you thought was worth it, just isn’t. Sin has pleasure, but only for a season.

So maybe we can fare better with the silver chest. Getting what we deserve. Do you want what you deserve? I certainly don’t. Thank God I don’t have to. No choosing of this chest for me. I deserve punishment. But if you think you deserve fame and fortune and all of that, go ahead…
Inside you will find,
“The fire seven times tried this:
Seven times tried that judgment is,
That did never choose amiss.
Some there be that shadows kiss;
Such have but a shadow’s bliss:
There be fools alive, I wis,
Silver’d o’er; and so was this.
If you chose this one, you will realize how foolish it is to put yourself above others, to seek only your own advancement and comfort.

Of course, we are so much wiser than the foolish suitor’s. We choose the third chest, and rightly so. We hazard all, or gamble all, or give all, for true love! We see inside,
“You that choose not by the view,
Chance as fair and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no new,
If you be well pleased with this”

We choose by not looking at the outside, but trusting on what is inside. We aren’t seeking to gratify or glorify ourselves. We are seeking love. True love asks for sacrifice, not greed or self-seeking. Jesus chose chest three- to win your heart. Aren’t you glad.
And won’t you hazard all for Him?