Why do we brag? Even as adults, we still do it… but why?

We love to share our accomplishments on social media, let others see the best things about our lives, and act like we have it all together, all the time.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like bragging, but it stems from the same place – pride.

As preteens are figuring out who they are, it only makes sense that they want others to see them for the way they wish they were, even if they aren’t there yet. So, they brag on what they know they are good at.

Use this lesson to teach preteens that bragging takes the focus off of God and places it on themselves.

– Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry



Written by: Rob Quinn

Bible: Jeremiah 9:23-24

Bottom Line: When we brag about ourselves we take the focus off of God and place it on us.



  • 2 Nerf Dart Blasters (with nerf darts)
  • 50 Red Solo Cups (or similar)
  • Song: “We are the Champions” (edit as needed)
  • Grand Prize: Giant Bag of Candy for the winning team.


Divide cups into two equal piles and place on opposite sides of the room.

Divide students into teams of 4-5 people.

Choose two teams to compete against each other by stacking their cups into whatever type of “cup wall” they want to build.

Next, they will shoot the Nerf darts at each other’s wall attempting to knock it over.

Give the teams two minutes to build their tower, and two minutes to shoot them down.

The team that knocks the most cups over, will win the round.

After all of the teams have gone, the two remaining teams will participate in a Championship Round.

The winning team will be given the Grand Prize and the other teams will sit in the middle of the room… as the winning team runs laps around them to the song “We Are The Champions.”


As you walk up to speak, start singing “We are the Champions.”

Say: WOW! That was awesome – I mean the winning team did amazing.

What do you think… maybe we can get them to come up here and tell us all about their victory over all of the other teams.

How does that sound to everyone?

Get the crowd to really not want them to come up.

Okay, I get it, it’s hard to listen to someone celebrate their victories, especially when it’s over the top or maybe even like bragging.

This is exactly what we are going to talk about today… bragging!

Can you give me examples of bragging?

Wait for a few responses.

You gave some really great examples of bragging.

Personal Story: Talk about a time when someone’s bragging really annoyed you.

Make it super funny and age appropriate.

See, even I have felt the annoyance of someone’s bragging – it is totally horrible to listen to someone like that.

But, if we are honest with ourselves, haven’t we all bragged about something?

I mean everyone in this room has bragged about some cool things they have done, awards they have won, or what they are the best at.

So, why do we brag?

Is it really so bad to brag about ourselves?

These are all great questions and the perfect place to look for answers is where?

(Wait for answers)

CORRECT, the Bible.

The world is full of negative things that are constantly weighing us down.

In fact, one of the lies that can get us off track from following God is to make us feel bad about ourselves… like we aren’t good enough.

The lie is simply this: You’ve tried and tried, but you’re just not good enough.

If Satan can convince you that you will never be good enough, he scores a major victory.

God tells us the complete opposite of that idea in 2 Corinthians 3:5.

“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.”

We don’t have to try and be perfect or the best, God will qualify you for whatever He wants out of you.

So, what does this have to with bragging.

When we have a negative sense of ourselves, we need to find something that makes us feel good about ourselves… something that makes us feel worthy.

This can lead us to bragging about the good things in our lives… things that we believe will make us look worthy to others.

The problem is that we end up just upsetting our friends, or even worse making them feel bad about themselves.

Now we know why we brag, is it really a big deal?

Let’s read Jeremiah 9:23-24.

This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 

But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things.

I, the Lord, have spoken! 

There’s very little to think about when these verses spell out why bragging is so harmful.

It’s a big deal to brag about our lives, our stuff in a bad way.

But, it’s a bigger deal to brag about knowing God, living for God, and delighting in Him in our lives.

This is a good  bragging situation.

When we brag about ourselves we take the attention and focus off of God and onto us.

So, to combat this temptation, God says to brag about Him and what He has done in your life.

You do this by living a life that worships God, praying to Him, and by showing others the awesome stuff He is doing in your life.

When you shift the focus of your life on God, you will notice the amazing things He does.

Close in Prayer.


    1. What is one thing you are the best at?
    2. What do you with you were better at?
    3. Share a time when you felt like you weren’t good enough?
    4. Tell us about a time when someone bragged about being the best at something? How did that make you feel?
    5. How does it make you feel to know God has a plan for you?
    6. Have you ever thought about bragging about God? How could you start doing that?


About Rob Quinn, the Writer of this Lesson

Rob has nearly 10 years of experience in preteen ministry. He is married to an amazing woman Jodi, who just so happens to be the Children’s Ministry Director at his church. They have one beautiful daughter Sydni, and an 8-pound attack dog named Lilly.

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