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Summary: In this sermon, we explore what the Bible says about boasting, flattery and exaggeration.

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Introduction:

A. Today, we are continuing in our series called: “Speak Life – Speaking Words that Heal, not Hurt.”

1. The Bible tells us that words have the power of life and death.

2. God’s desire is for all of us to learn how to control our tongues so that our words bring life.

3. So far in our series, we explored the truth about lying, and we have explored what we might call “malignant talk” – using our tongues to spread gossip and slander.

4. I hope that we are all experiencing the heightening of our awareness to the use of our words, so that we are speaking more truthfully and are not involved in gossip and slander.

5. Today, we want to explore what I am calling “ego talking” which has to do with speaking words of boasting, flattery and exaggeration.

B. The story is told of a man named Bubba who many years ago was bragging to his boss, “You know, I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone, anyone, and I know them.”

1. Tired of his boasting, his boss called his bluff, “OK, Bubba how about Tom Cruise?”

2. Bubba said, “Sure I know Tom, he and I are old friends, and I can prove it.”

a. So Bubba and his boss flew out to Hollywood and knocked on Tom Cruise’s door, and sure enough, Tom Cruise, shouts, “Bubba! Great to see you! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!”

3. Although impressed, Bubba’s boss was still skeptical. After they left Cruise’s house, he suggested that Bubba’s knowing of Tom Cruise was just lucky.

a. Bubba said, “No, no, I really do know everyone, just name anyone else.”

b. His boss said, “Okay, how about President Clinton?”

c. “Of course, I know him,” said Bubba, “Let’s fly to Washington so I can prove it to you.”

d. When they arrived at the White House and began the tour, Clinton spotted Bubba in the group and motioned for him and his boss to come over. Clinton said, “Bubba, what a surprise, I’m really busy, but not too busy to have a cup of coffee first and catch up.”

4. Bubba’s boss was amazed by this, but was still not totally convinced.

5. After leaving the White House, the boss again expressed his doubts that Bubba knew everyone.

a. Bubba again implored him to name anyone else.

b. Bubba’s boss said, “How about Pope John Paul?”

c. Bubba replied, “My folks are from Poland, and I've known the Pope a long time.”

d. So off they flew to Rome and while Bubba and his boss were assembled with the masses in Vatican Square, Bubba said, “This will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the Pope.”

e. So Bubba disappeared into the crowd headed toward the Vatican.

f. Sure enough, half an hour later Bubba emerged with the Pope on the balcony.

g. But by the time Bubba returned to his boss, he found out that his boss had fainted and was surrounded by paramedics.

h. Bubba asked his boss what happened and his boss said, “I was feeling fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and then this stranger in the crowd nearby shouted, ‘Who’s that on the balcony with Bubba?’ ”

C. Unlike Bubba, when most people boast and brag they are stretching the truth.

1. But even if what we are boasting and bragging about is true, boasting and bragging are not the kinds of words that should come from the mouth of a godly person.

2. As we will discover today, words of boasting, flattery and exaggeration are not words we should be speaking.

3. Words of boasting, flattery and exaggeration might be classified as ego talk.

4. Ego is something that all of us have – it is that part of me that is interested in me.

a. Ego is that inner drive to be recognized and satisfied.

b. It is one of the strongest driving forces in our beings, and it is no wonder that it shows up in our words.

5. Ego is not all bad, it is part of the way God created us.

a. Actually, we cannot function or survive without an ego.

b. Ego is designed to help us properly care about ourselves and our needs.

c. God does want us to love ourselves and take care of ourselves, and the ego is designed to guide us toward that end.

6. But ego needs a control factor, it must not be allowed to roam uncontrolled.

a. Scripture tells us that the proper control factor for our ego is the Word of God and the indwelling Spirit of God (Eph. 5:18).

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