I have to admit it feels good to be important.

When I worked on a national newspaper in London, I had a prestigious job creating graphics. Sometimes the artwork was only small like a graph showing oil prices, printed on the business pages. Other times, and not as often as I liked, I had a bigger assignment to create a map or illustration for a headline news story that day. Then my creation would be splashed across the front page, visible to the whole world, and admired by me as I passed a newsstand. My name would be printed in small letters on the bottom of the graphic, but it felt big.

Today, as a writer and a speaker, I have been told I need a big platform. Not a raised surface to stand on so people can see me, but I need a considerable number of followers. It will help me get published.

But with this notion comes a dilemma.

If I focus on building my own name, with it comes the risk of constructing a stage propped up by my worth and independence, contrary to what I truly believe.

And that belief is I should always be dependent on my Creator and Savior, and I should be making his name known, not my own.

We find a warning in Genesis of the error of valuing ourselves too highly—when the people wanted to build a name for themselves. They did so out of pride and self-sufficiency and the result was not good. God confused their language.

We don’t want to end up with a similar muddle.

Instead, we learn God’s way turns the world’s way on its head.

The one who is least will be first. When we are weak then we are strong. And those who take the least important place will be given the place of honor.

We can’t have it the world’s way and God’s way, although often I fool myself into thinking I can have both.

Now, I’m not saying we should sit around and do nothing and still expect big things to happen for God. The parable of the servant who did nothing with his master’s gold except bury it in the ground teaches this.

We should increase our skills, use our knowledge, and be a good and faithful servant with what God has entrusted us.

But, we do need a transformed perspective.

We need to constantly remind ourselves it’s not about us; it’s about God.

We want to walk humbly with God, not compete with our Lord.

I know some friends out there feel the same way. Check out Christa’s blog post on How to Keep Stats from Draining your Soul and Mary DeMuth whose desire is for our first thoughts to be the Kingdom of God.

So where do you stand?  On a platform built of your own self-importance? Or on a faith in a famous God who exhalts the humble?

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Linking up with Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth

  • I love this reminder Rachel. As a ministry leader it can be so tempting to want to build your platform or perform in a certain way to attract more visitors and forget what the real focus is…Jesus!

  • Yes and yes! Love your words, Rachel. There is so much coming at us about reach and platform, and frankly, I only want to stand on what God builds for me. It does feel good to be recognized – it feels great to encourage others – but those things are quite temporary compared to glorifying an everlasting God. So glad I visited today from #coffeeforyourheart.

  • This is definitely an issue for me — there are times when I feel invisible, but then God reminds me that the “platform” in front of my kitchen sink is pretty big after all, and the view is great. And He sends along messengers of truth to keep me grounded! Thanks, Rachel!

  • Thank you for the reminder! Something we should always keep before us as followers of Christ. The temptation is always going to be to promote ourself – the enemy thrives on that.

  • Oh boy did I need this today! Thank you for your keen perspective. Know that God used your words to touch me, Cindy

  • Rachel, thank you for these good words. It is a message that we (writer/bloggers) need to be reminded of. I soaked in these words like a dry sponge. Most of the time I am inundated with messages about how to increase readership etc… when what I really want to do is to write for the glory of God.

    A “transformed perspective” and walking humbly with our God, are good words.
    Thanks for the encouragement today.

  • It’s easy to get caught up in how others see us or how important we feel, but so true that we should be focussing on building God’s name, not our own. I suppose it’s about being faithful with what he has given us and trusting him for the results.

  • Personally, I don’t think you’re the type of person to let a platform no matter how big take away from what God calls you to do. I know my blog is small, I’d be happy if one person reads it or a million. i always makes sure to give Him the credit. There are things we learn, natural abilities. And then there’s God. I may have been a good writer, but He made me a better one, I think we can all agree who’s the real creative genius.

  • Rachel, I needed this today. I am with you 100%. It is a paradoxical situation isn’t it? Trying to become an influencer without being influenced by the world’s standards. To be part of….so that we can reach those who are in the world….yet separate so we can remain wholly focused on God’s path for us.

    My prayer has always been that my platform would grow in such a way that it would be ridiculous for me to claim any of the credit. I ask God for this regularly. My job is to work hard and let God take care of the results. I am the type of person who needs constant reminders of this, so I am grateful for your post this morning. Blessings to you!

  • Rachel, I very much agree with you! It’s not about us but about Him and how He chooses to use us! Great reminder! Have a blessed day shining His light through you! #livefree

  • I love this and agree entirely. Often, I’ve felt the pull – build platform. But, then, it comes in a whisper – trust Me. When we obey, we cannot fail. His words and intentions do not come back void. Thank you, Rachel!

    • Isn’t it wonderful that when we’re following our Lord there is no failure in his eyes. That’s a reminder I need when the enemy is telling me I’m failing.

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