Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Droppings of Self Promotion

Online recently, I saw a post that said; "check out this article written about me".....and gave the link so you could read all about how important this person had become in their area. I know others who push their writing so they can get "best seller" status and increased marketing and notoriety. They may say it's so that more can be reached with their message, but come on!
Is God incapable of getting anointed messages out and impacting those He wants to? Look at the self published (or practically so) book called The Shack. Whatever your view about it, it was a book of impact that changed and gave people a new perspective on the love of God. Only after it had been read by millions through word of mouth referral, did a larger publisher pick it up and market it. To its author, it was like lighting a fire in a forest of dry tinder! He lit it and watched it explode! God did all the work of promotion.

Okay I admit it, I'm a bit critical of people who need to draw attention to themselves and tell everyone how important and influential they are becoming and drawing attention to everything they are doing. Being an introvert myself, it seems completely egotistical and self absorbed to promote oneself. Not to mention, unbiblical and unwise (look at Jannes and Jambres, Miriam and Absolom.)
Why not let other people herald your virtues, if you have any to herald, that is. Or even better, trust God Himself to spread your influence and fruitfulness in His own way?

I understand we all seem to have a need to feel relevant and valuable in the scheme of life. One of our "Basic Needs" according to the sociologist Abraham Maslow, is to feel our life has meaning. He calls it the need for esteem that is given by others around us. If this theory is a valid observation, and I have no reason to doubt it after seeing the reality of it over many years of life, than what is God's plan in addressing it? He made us, knows us, and He must have the spiritual "filler" for this need we have to be valued and esteemed.

The world fills this need by self promotion and noted elevated status. The filler is notoriety.
In the world being known is equated with success, achievement and validity. Big is better. Being known is "getting big". We have descriptions like; he's a big star, she's made it big, star status, popular, VIP (VERY important person), acclaimed speaker, major leader, and others like; Father of the City, Apostle to the Region, Prophet to the Nations, big ministry, a large pulpit, (oops,.....sorry for my sarcasm)........
The world revolves around these values, especially in the West, and we live in a culture of fixation with this type of success, VIP status, and fame.

However, those who live to honor Christ are exhorted to be different.

According to Jesus, we're supposed to be "in the world, but not of the world". We are supposed to look different, act different and impact differently. Not through VIP status, but through humility, obedience and the power of the Holy Spirit to do what we cannot.

Jesus, like the lowliest servant in a household, washed the smelly, dirty feet of fisherman, tax collectors and unknown nobodies. Nobodies, who through their obedience and power of the Holy Spirit would impact the world in less than 70 years.

Like John the Baptist, we are supposed to decrease that He may increase. Do we really see this in ourselves and each other? Are we seeing more of the nature and life of Jesus in us as a movement and as individuals or just a lukewarm version of the normal human experience?

Let's be real here, wouldn't we rather increase? Don't we enjoy the notice and praises of men?

In every movement of the Spirit of God, there is a wondrously fresh beginning. God surprises us and takes unknown, insignificant and often the least qualified people and releases a powerful effect through them. Those we would never consider as influencers, and Kingdom shakers are, in the Hand of God, useful albeit very human tools for His purposes.

Some Old Testament Biblical examples of this are Gideon, Sampson, David, and Deborah. Often unwilling, seemingly insignificant unlikely choices of influencers for the purposes of God. Some New Testament examples would be Timothy, Peter, the Samaritan woman, Matthew and Zaccheus. Weak, un-esteemed, corrupted, young, female, uncircumcised, abhorred, unknown, blue collar,....you get the idea.

There seems to be a theme with God and whom He chooses.

He likes our weakness, our insignificance, our obscure and often unlikely raw material. He values our knowing just how really incapable we are without Him. He loves to manifest the BIGness of a God who is the only one who deserves to be called a star and a VIP.

If we fill our need for significance with the accolades of those around us, we're on the way of Balaam who sold his gift for status, money and power. And the Pharisee's who prayed to be noticed, esteemed and admired, whom Jesus called white washed (and inferred empty) tombs.

I admit, I'm becoming a bit cynical, even downright disgusted with the self promotion going on. I know I have my sin issues, and would not want to give anyone the impression in writing this, that I don't struggle with the flesh as much as anyone. Even having this blog and wondering if anyone reads it, indicts me and is an internal conflict of my own. My flesh is ever before me and I too need the grace of God to decrease so that He may increase every day and every year in my life.

We have an opportunity and a choice, at this time in history and in this present move of God to use ordinary, simple and seemingly insignificant folks, to be people of impact for the Kingdom of God.
If we'd choose His notoriety over our own......

"Thus says the Lord, Heaven is My throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where then is a house you could build for me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being, declares the Lord. But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word". Is 66:1-2

May He look our way!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm back to blogging.

I have a lot of stuff swimming around in my head leaving plenty of "droppings" that I need to dialog about. I'll admit to being someone who has strong opinions and ideas about certain things. In fact, I can get pretty downright dogmatic at times. Of course, opinions being such as they are, most of us think that our own are correct.
I am no different.

That said, however, I love to be challenged with some new angles of thought or different perspectives. I like my rough edges sanded off by those around me.

So, sand away in the next few weeks as I share some of my thoughts and perspectives with you. I'm looking forward to it!

Lamentations 3:40 "Let us examine our ways and test them"