May 2, 2018
We’re in the age of social-media and treading uncharted waters. It felt fun and exciting at first, but my legs are getting tired and the water is getting deeper. Everyone is putting on a brave face, but I know this is dangerous.
We’re told we need to promote ourselves. There’s a science to it! It’s crucial! If I don’t shout my own accomplishments from the rooftops, will no one see them? If I don’t slide in details of how hard I’m working into everyday conversation, will anyone know it’s happening? If I don’t take a photo of myself on the days I actually feel put together, will anyone acknowledge my effort?
I once was so overwhelmed by this struggle I thought I’d lost my original mission. Like a glutton, the cravings started small. Affirmation, acknowledgement. Compliments, consideration. But the more it was fed, the more the appetite grew. Acknowledgement wouldn’t scratch the surface anymore, it now demanded praise.
I immediately saw pride ugly and roaring in my soul. Nothing was good enough, no amount of ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ or compliments would meet my expectations. And I knew in that moment I needed to change. Even if everyone else chases the fame and the throne, I chase peace. I chase humility. When I’m trying too hard to be seen and heard, I pray to be sat down and silenced. The visual of a chair always reminds me there is one person alone on the throne of my heart- I won’t dare let it be me.
There is a temptation to be our own promotion team. The lie is that if we don’t praise ourselves, our hard and good work will go unnoticed. I’m here to share the two things I know to be truer than true: 1. Our effort doesn’t need to be noticed or acknowledged to be worthwhile, and 2. God always, always sees our heart. He sees our motives and our efforts, our sweat and our struggle. The King of Kings sees me doing the dishes for the third time today. He sees me up at all hours of the night, reading and typing away. He sees me ask my toddler for forgiveness. He sees me reach a goal I’ve been working on for months. If He sees me, must everyone else?
1 Peter 5:6 changed my life a few years ago and it’s written on a sticky note in my office. It’s a question I ask myself almost daily, will I humble myself or exalt myself? It has a way of immediately forcing me into humility (and often repentance) so I pray it speaks to you as loudly as it speaks to me.
It takes a fight to say no to self-promotion. Sure, in some cases it’s necessary and even essential to our business. But when it’s up to me, I’m finding it easier and easier to walk in the comfort of His ever perfect timing.
Humble myself or exalt myself?
When I see it in black and white, there’s no contest.