Can You Top This?

Heading to my brother's home a few weeks ago, I passed a line of newspaper boxes. A closer look made me laugh out loud.

In the center was a box selling The Times,
with a sign stating  "No. 1 with Readers."  

To the left of The Times was a box selling The Trentonian,
boasting a sign declaring "AHEAD of the TIMES."

Reminds me of some people I know - the "Can you top this?" syndrome:

"I had a such a busy day today. Couldn't even stop for lunch."
     "Well, my day was so busy, I didn't have breakfast, lunch or dinner."

"My daughter played varsity soccer."
     "My daughter was MVP in soccer, basketball and lacrosse."

"I enjoyed my trip so much, I took over 100 pictures."
     "Well, on my last trip, I took over 400 pictures."

"My mom was such a good cook, we never wanted to eat out."
     "My mom was such a great cook, she was featured in Gourmet magazine."

"My son was on the honor roll."
     "Well, my son was valedictorian."

"As a kid, we were so poor we didn't have paper to do our homework."
     "Well, I was so poor, we didn't have toilet paper."

You know people like this. As you start to share your story, their minds are only half-listening, just waiting for the moment to share their own better-than-yours story. They can be sad/sadder stories OR good/better stories OR funny/funnier stories. It doesn't matter. What matters is that that person's story tops yours in some way.

I imagine the people who lived in Corinth were like this. One-third of all the references of the word "boast" in Scripture can be found in Paul's two letters to the Corinthians. His many comments on boasting can be summed up like this:
  • Love doesn't boast. But if you must boast, let it be about the Lord or about your weaknesses in which the Lord's power is glorified.*

Can you top that? ;)

*Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

*Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4

*But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9


Nancy said...

good one Susan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

Thanks for the chuckle and gentle poke. :)


Rhonda Schrock said...

That's just funny! And a great application from it. Yes, I have met people like that. I always feel like I'm not really a participant in the conversation.

We once heard a speaker say you should try to be the host in a conversation. I never thought of practicing hospitality in that way, but I guess you can translate the "others first" attitude into any scenario.

Great post, my friend!

Waving and grinning,


KelliGirl said...

Yes, sadly I do know people like this. I love Paul's words that you shared: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."

I may not be the best, funniest, smartest, richest, but I know the One who is... the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am.

Happy Friday,

Terri Tiffany said...

Loved this--especially the pictures. Great message as always.

quietspirit said...

Yes, I do know some people who are like that. I have a hard time being around them.