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    Proverbs: Beware the HumbleBrag

    January 10, 2020

January 10, 2020

Proverbs: Beware the HumbleBrag

“Jabberwocky”
A poem by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

I’ve always enjoyed “Jabberwocky;” I prefer it to Alice in Wonderland. They’re both pretty strange of course, but in this poem, there’s something about the dreaded monster, the Jabberwock. The jaws that bite, the claws that catch, the gleaming eyes of flame. And there’s something about our hero — who takes the vorpal blade and goes snicker-snack, he leaves the Jabberwock dead.

Ahhh, the dreaded Jabberwock!
Ohhh, the wonderful Jabberwock slayer, our hero!

Today, we shall see and fight, and hopefully slay a deadly monster, the dreaded HumbleBrag!

And if we cannot slay him, we have a wonderful HumbleBrag slayer, our hero, Jesus Christ!

What is this dreaded monster, the HumbleBrag?

A HumbleBrag is a modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud. When you want to boast but pretend to be modest about it or gripe about something most people would desire, you’re humblebragging.

Here’s an example: “I can’t believe I sounded like such an idiot on TV last night.”

Why do people humblebrag?

Perhaps some of us humblebrag because we know that bragging is prideful and wrong, not to mention sinful and stupid.

So if and when we humblebrag, we are trying to disguise our self-praise as pure humility, which of course, it is not. It is the exact opposite of true humility.

The HumbleBrag has entered our language and it permeates social media. Some have said that social media is pretty much all selfies, humblebrags and rants.

Studies indicate almost everybody recognizes a HumbleBrag when they hear it or see it, and studies also indicate that we don’t like HumbleBrags much. As a matter of fact, studies indicate that we respond better to a straight up brag or boast than we do to a HumbleBrag!

So, as it turns out, the HumbleBrag is not much of a dreaded monster after all. The HumbleBrag is just too obvious. We can all see it for what it is: a pathetic attempt to self-praise while trying to clothe ourselves in a cloak of modesty and humility.

“Beware the HumbleBrag, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the PridePride monster, and shun
The vainglory Vanity!”

But cling to our hero, the Lord Jesus Christ!
He has slain the PridePride monster and laid him low.
He endured the cross,
despised the shame,
And is seated at the right hand
of the throne of God!

Kevin Wax

Kevin is a Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.