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?