In the Old Testament, it is the act of praising superior qualities or great acts.
In the New Testament (Greek “kauchaomai”), boasting is getting satisfaction in; rejoicing in; or praising.
When telling others about something you possess, you are, or you’ve accomplished/done, if you’re attitude or motive in doing so is self-centered or egotistical, then that kind of boasting/bragging is wrong/sinful.
Right Uses of Boasting (generally)
Psa. 34:2 In what does David say his soul shall make its boast (“halal” – praise)?
In what do you boast/praise, and why?
Psa. 44:8 In what and how long did the psalmist boast (“halal” – greatly praise)?
Is this true of you, why, and if so, how do you go about doing it?
Rom. 15:15-18 In what did Paul find reason for boasting (rejoicing)?
Is your boasting in Christ (Christ working in and through you) in things pertaining to God (for example, in sharing the gospel with others or in souls’ saved) or in yourself pridefully, and why?
When will we as Christians have reason for boasting (“kauchema” – rejoicing) in regard to ourselves alone?
Do you boast about (rejoice in) yourself and/or your accomplishments because when you compare yourself and/or your accomplishments to others who you think are inferior or less productive to you, it makes you look good, or do you boast/rejoice because when you compare yourself today to what you were or accomplished in the past, you see spiritual progress in your life?
Though some Jews (possibly now Christians) wanted to boast about Gentile Christians keeping the Jewish law of circumcision, what does Paul say (Gal. 6:14)?
Do you boast (brag) about other Christians keeping your denomination’s or church’s man-made religious rituals or rules, or do you boast/rejoice in what Christ has done for you in dying on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins so you can go to heaven, and why?
1 Cor. 9:11-18
Regarding what didn’t Paul want any person to make his boast (claim) an empty one (1 Cor. 9:15, 18)?
Though you may have certain rights as a full-time Christian worker/minister/evangelist to receive certain material or financial things from people because of your ministry, do you forego them in order to not make your boast/claim of ministering willingly and freely an empty one, and why?
1 Cor. 15:30-31 In Whom did Paul boast?
Do you boast/rejoice in the Christians whom you’ve spiritually labored among because of their changed lives (spiritual progress in) being more Christ-like, and why?
Phil. 3:3 Who are the true circumcision (Jews spiritually)?
Are you glorying (boasting and exulting) in Christ Jesus and not putting confidence in yourself (your human abilities and achievements) for your being made right with God?
2 Cor. 1:12-14 In what was Paul and Timothy’s proud (joyful) confidence (2 Cor. 1:12)?
Who were these Corinthian’s reason to be proud (“kauchema” – rejoicing or boasting)?
Who were Paul and Timothy’s reason to be proud (boasting or rejoicing), and when?
What or who will be your reason to be proud, boasting, or rejoicing in the day of our Lord Jesus, and why?
2 Cor. 5:11-12
Paul in saying that he and Timothy were seen/known (made manifest) in these Corinthian’s consciences (that is, their true character – integrity), and were not commending (praising) themselves before these Corinthians but were, what?
2 Cor. 7:4 What two things does Paul express as being great?
Are you eager to tell people how well certain Christians you know are doing or behaving, and why?
If so, when was the last time you did so?
How often do you share with people the good that other Christian’s are doing, and why would this be a good thing to do?
2 Cor. 7:13-15 In what was Paul not put to shame?
What proved to be the truth?
Have you ever been disappointed in your boasting (talking and praising) about another person’s character?
If so, how did you handle yourself or the situation?
Or, has your boasting about another Christian’s good qualities proved to be true?
2 Cor. 8:23-24 What did Paul tell the Corinthians to do?
Have you ever told another Christian to exhibit or evidence before other Christians the reason for your boasting (talking and praising) about him/her?
If so, what was his/her response to your telling him/her to do this?
2 Cor. 9:2-5 About what did Paul boast (talk and praise) regarding the Corinthians?
Have you ever boasted about another Christian’s generosity?
Or, any other godly quality?
2 Cor. 10:8-9 What had Paul been boasting about (claiming)?
Why could he do so?
Is there anything that God has given you to build up other Christians that you’ve been boasting about (claiming)?
If so, what?
Why are you boasting about it?
2 Cor. 10:12-16
The only measure of authority and standard of comparison that these false teachers had and used was their own puffed-up self-praise. But Paul wasn’t going to boast (make claims) beyond his measure (i.e., he wasn’t going to credit himself with the labors of others as though they were his own) as an apostle of God. Instead, how would Paul boast?
Have you ever taken the credit for yourself regarding the accomplishments of another Christian (like, the conversion of someone you talked to about God but did not lead to Christ, or the spiritual growth, maturity, or leadership abilities of someone you spent a little bit of time with, but didn’t pour your life into as much as another Christian had, which resulted in transforming that person’s life, which you are now claiming as the product of your labors)?
Paul boasts (makes claims) about his labors in order to authenticate his apostleship and expose the impostors. For what purpose do you boast (make claims) about your ministry accomplishments, if you do?
2 Cor. 10:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:31 In Whom should we boast (exult in or praise)?
Who do you boast in (praise), yourself or God?
When, and why?
2 Cor. 11:8-12 What boasting (claim) of Paul’s wouldn’t be stopped (2 Cor. 11:9)?
[Paul wanted to cut off occasion or opportunity (that is, getting money for preaching the gospel) from those who desired an opportunity to be regarded just as he is/was, namely a true apostle, in the matter about which they were boasting (being apostles) though these people were really false apostles, 2 Cor. 11:12-13.].
Have you ever refused accepting something (e.g., money) that you rightfully deserved as a Christian worker in order to prevent others (religious people or carnal Christians) from abusing or taking unnecessary advantage of a good thing or getting into Christian ministry for wrong reasons?
If so, what?
2 Cor. 11:16-30
Paul, in defending his apostleship, resorts to the same method of defense as do the false teachers – boasting (making showy claims). Paul, however, explains this to the Corinthians by saying what (2 Cor. 11:16-18)?
How did Paul think that some might view him for his using this method to defend his apostleship against the false teachers (2 Cor. 11:16, 21)?
Was Paul right or wrong in boasting about himself in order to prove his point that he was as great as, if not greater an apostle than, any of those who were claiming to be apostles?
Why (Prov. 26:4-5)?
Have you ever done what Paul did for any similar reason?
Or for any reason? If so, what and why?
What does Paul say in concluding this method of defense (2 Cor. 11:30)?
Do you boast (brag) about your learning, eloquence, or personal advantage, or of your real weaknesses, sufferings, and privations, and why?
2 Cor. 12:1-9
What does Paul say is necessary (2 Cor. 12:1), though it’s not profitable (personally becoming, suitable, or proper for Paul)?
What does Paul say about boasting (making claims to build oneself up or another) in 2 Cor. 12:5-6?
Why does Paul refrain from boasting (bragging)?
Is this why you refrain from boasting too?
Why would Paul most gladly boast about (rejoice in) his weaknesses rather than seek deliverance?
Have you ever boasted (rejoiced) in your weaknesses because you realized that these weaknesses were the condition for you experiencing Christ’s power in and through your life?
If so, when?
2 Thes. 1:3-4
Why did Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy speak proudly (“kauchaomai” – boast fully or praisingly) of these Thessalonians?
Do you ever speak proudly/praisingly of other Christians who have godly qualities or show spiritual progress?
If so, how often, and why?
Of what shouldn’t a (worldly) wise person, mighty (strong/powerful) person, or rich person boast (rejoice in)?
If someone is going to boast, about what should he/she boast (rejoice)?
Do you brag about your athletic skills, muscular body, intelligence, fancy car/truck, good looks, education, career/job, musical talent or voice, etc. or rejoice in God’s grace on your life in opening your eyes to biblical truth to such an undeserving sinner as yourself, and why?
James 1:9 In what should the economically poor Christian glory (boast, give praise, rejoice)?
If you are an economically poor Christian, are you glorying (rejoicing/boasting) in your spiritual wealth (i.e., love, joy, peace – Gal. 5:22-23; being a child and heir of God – Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:17)?
Matt. 11:29; 2 Cor. 10:1; Num. 12:3
Is saying or stating a fact, such as, that you are gentle, meek or humble in heart boasting and wrong, and why?
[If a person’s motive is not self-centered/egotistical/prideful, but to simply state a fact for God’s glory and/or people’s benefit, it’s not wrong to say something positive about yourself, even though others may consider it bragging and wrong.].
Wrong Uses of Boasting
Psa. 10:3 What does the wicked person boast of (“halal” – greatly praise)?
What do the non-Christian’s whom you know boast of, or what is the heart’s (sin nature’s) desire of non-Christians (Matt. 12:34; 15:19)?
Have you or others you know ever boasted how many beers you/they drank, how many different people you’ve/they’ve had sex with, etc., and why?
To what is a person compared who boasts (brags; praises oneself – “halal”) of gifts he/she doesn’t actually have?
Do you ever boast/brag about gifts, talents, abilities, etc. you don’t actually have, or you do so in an exaggerated way, and why?
James 4:13-16; Prov. 27:1 All of what kind of boasting (exalting/praising or rejoicing) is evil?
Do you ever boast (exalt) in your arrogance (forgetting that life depends on the will of God and failing to acknowledge dependency on God and, instead, pridefully stating the definiteness of your future), and why?
Doesn’t boasting in the certainty of what will happen to you in the earthly future or what you’re going to do imply that you’re setting yourself up as God?
If so, how?
Whom did God give over to a depraved mind, to do things like being boastful (arrogantly bragging – “alason”)?
Are you failing to acknowledge God any longer because of the success or fruitfulness of your ministry, job, or relationships, and thinking that it’s your own intellect, abilities, or skills that are making you successful, and why?
What does Paul tell Timothy that people will be in the last days before Christ returns (2 Tim. 3:2)?
Do you see this taking place? If so, how?
Since salvation (justification) is by grace (undeserved favor) through faith in Christ’s death for the payment of the penalty of the believer’s sins, what question does Paul both ask and answer?
Do you have reason to boast (praise yourself) about your being justified (saved) because of something that you did to merit or earn it?
Why (Rom. 3:24)?
1 Cor. 1:26-30
Why did God primarily choose weak and insignificant things (i.e., people) of the world to confound the wise, mighty, and the great?
By whose doing are you in Christ Jesus (saved)?
Knowing this then, can you boast about and contribute your salvation to your own wisdom, birth, position, or anything else of your doing (Eph. 2:8-9; Jn. 1:13)?
Why (Rom. 6:23)?
1 Cor. 3:19-23
The Corinthians were ready to pride themselves on their wisdom and on the teachers to whom they attached themselves, but why shouldn’t these Corinthians boast (trust in as the ground of confidence or as the source of honor or blessedness) in men?
[So far from enriching themselves by staking their claim to exclusive rights in one teacher, the Corinthians were impoverishing themselves; Paul puts no limits to their possessions in Christ.].
Do you boast in (trust in as the ground of confidence or as the source of honor or blessedness) certain Christian people or in the Lord, and why?
1 Cor. 5:6
What boasting (bragging) was the Corinthian church involved in that was not good (1 Cor. 4:6-8, 18-19; 5:1-2)?
Do you ever boast of your superior religious condition, state, or attainment (at least, superior in your mind, though you’re probably not)?