FAQ :: Is it wrong to brag about the future?

Do not boast about the future:

“Listen, those who say: “Today or tomorrow we will go into this city and we will stay there a year and conduct trade to make a profit.” You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For you are a vapor which appears for a little while and then disappears. Instead, you should say: “If the Lord wills we will live and do this or that.” You boast in your pride – all such boasting is evil. Therefore, the one who knows to do good, and does not do it – to him it is a sin” (James 4:13-17).

There is nothing wrong in making plans and setting out to do something. It is only wrong when you do something without trusting in God to guide you. We are to trust in Him for everything we do (Proverbs 3.5-6) and accept as His will, whatever happens, whether it is good or bad. Sometimes He does not let us carry out our plans because they do not fit in with His. When that happens we should not become bitter and frustrated, but be joyful and press on with something else.

One thing we should be careful not to do is brag about our plans (Proverbs 27.1). Instead of making a big show we should keep a low profile and let the Lord work. When we boast of what we plan to do we can hinder His work. Many times He will not bless a work because those involved take all the credit rather than give God the glory.

No one knows if they will be alive tomorrow and because of that we should not become overconfident in ourselves. Our confidence should be in God instead. Our lives are so short that in relation to eternity they are no more than a vapor. Most people deceive themselves into thinking they will live forever in mortal bodies, including many believers. Few consider death and understand that we should make use of every second God has given us to serve Him. Unfortunately, too many believers waste their time fulfilling their petty lusts and chasing after business deals, which have nothing to do with serving God.

Far too many believers waste most of their time; shopping for useless toys, trinkets, etc., watching TV and videos, going to movies, going out to dinner, going to ball games, taking trips, relaxing, and in recreation, working on hobbies, etc. Believers need to cut down the amount of time they spend fulfilling their pitiful lusts by 90%, and spend that in the Word, prayer, fellowship, and soul winning. People need a lot less “me” time than they think. At the least believers should spend the same amount of time, serving the Lord as they do in “me” time.

Whenever we decide to do anything we should go forth with it, trusting it is the will of God, and ask Him to guide us in our endeavor. If it is His will it can succeed or fail. Sometimes He causes us to fail in a project to teach us something. Just because a work succeeds does not mean it is the will of God. Many endeavors succeed even though the participants are acting in their own strength. The Lord allows it for His reasons which we may never understand until we get to heaven.

Any time a believer boasts in plans he has, whether they are to serve the Lord or himself, it is a sin. We should never boast in anything but the works of God, which we are to brag about before the entire world. David did this (Psalm 9.1, 11; 71.13-14; 96.2-3; 119.26-27, 46) as well as numerous other patriarchs and New Testament saints (Acts 2.14-36; 7.2-50; 26.2-23).

In the book of James, he concludes his admonishment to the brethren by telling them any time they know the right thing to do and they do not do it, it is a sin. That is a heavy burden for there are myriad things we know are right to do and we do not always do them.

Some of these things are praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5.17); being in the Word every day, hearing it (Deuteronomy 6.3-5), reading it (Matthew 24.15), studying it (Acts 17.11), memorizing it (Psalm 119.11), meditating on it (Joshua 1.8); teaching the Scriptures regularly (Deuteronomy 6.7; Matthew 28.19-20; 2 Timothy 2.2); and sharing the gospel with the lost on a regular basis (Mark 16.15).

These are things we should be doing daily. It is hard to always do what is right, but we are expected to give our all our Heavenly Father who is perfect (Matthew 5.48).