Saturday, April 30, 2011

Self-promotion or God-promotion

 I opened a magazine the other day, and observed a full page advertisement promoting a Christian Conference. In that ad were pictures and names of the guest speakers scheduled for the event; "Prophet So and so....., Prophetess So and so......., Dr. So and so........, Bishop So and so." In today's Christian circle, names and titles have become the platform that leaders have built for themselves. Don't get me wrong, there are those who have worked hard and paid the price to legitimately add a few letters before their name. But I'm not talking about the educational cultural standard that many have earned through diligence, hard work, and student loans. What I'm talking about is a heart issue.
     When standing before a crowd of new people, how do you introduce yourself? Do you quickly introduce your list of accomplishments and titles, or do you simply state your name and let your character speak for itself? I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Do you promote yourself or do you allow God to promote you?"
     Glancing through the New Testament books, I took notice to how the authors introduced themselves at the beginning of each book. In the book of Romans, Paul calls himself, "Jesus Christ's slave, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News." In every other book Paul wrote, he always introduces himself in the same manner, either "as a slave of Christ, or as an apostle chosen by God."
     James introduces himself, in the book of James as, "a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." James was the brother of Jesus Christ himself! If anyone had the right or opportunity or throw his name and position around, it was him, but he chose to call himself a slave instead.
     In II Peter, Peter calls himself, "a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ."
     Jude, who was also a brother to Jesus, promotes himself in the book of Jude as, "a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James." He gives reference to his brother James, but leaves out the fact that he also is a brother to Jesus Christ.
     And finally, in the book of Revelation, John simply refers to himself as God's servant.
     Why do we, as Christians, allow the compromise of self-promotion to enter into our ministry? Where in the Word of God does it teach us to introduce ourselves in a manner that will glorify us, rather than glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ himself?
     Let's not rely on educational degrees, credentialing titles, and positions within the church to promote ourselves and validate our self-worth. We are children of the King of Kings. If we can't find our self-worth in that, than no amount of self-promotion will ever work!
     Do what you were placed on this earth to do. Do it unto the Lord, not unto man. God's approval is first and foremost. Allow God to open doors of ministry for you instead of forcing open doors that were never meant for you to walk through. If our steps are truly ordered of the Lord, then don't you think He is big enough to make sure we follow that path without having to promote our self to get there? If Jesus' own disciples and apostles referred to themselves as servants, how much more should we? Take an opportunity this week to offer yourself as a servant to someone, not for any accolades or attention, just simply to be His hand extended in love. As you adopt a servant hood attitude and begin to walk it out daily, you can rest assure that you will be God-promoted!

Don't think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen.  Romans 11:20
Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people.  Romans 12:16