“Our goal is not to promote our name, but to use our influence to promote God’s name.”
It is an excellent claim and motivation, and I agreed with it as I read it on an graphic posted on social media, but the person who posted it added her name and organization to the image. Was it irony? Sarcasm? Hypocrisy?
She is most definitely not the first one I’ve noticed. How often do we see Scripture verses or famous quotes of faith posted and shared across social media…on graphics designed with a particular author, speaker, or ministry? I’m not saying it’s all bad. After all, someone went to the trouble of designing the graphic to share, so it makes sense that he or she would want credit for it. And for those of us who speak, write, or lead in any way, we’re told over and over to get our names out there, let people know who we are, post things that will go viral.
But should that be our goal, or any part of our strategy?
Yes, I understand that those who want to have an impact on others’ lives for Jesus’ sake wrestle with the chicken-and-egg dilemma of how to impact others when others don’t know them and how to get others to know them so the impacting can begin. We rationalize that we live in a technology age like never before, so we face challenges and opportunities never given before.
But that’s not true. We have the same age-old challenges and opportunities, just framed in a new context. To put ourselves or others first? To put ourselves or God first? To promote His name or our names?
To be first or last? To be proud or humble? To be selfish or selfless?
I’m not saying I have it all figured out. It’s something I wrestle with often. I imagine I always will. Sure, I learn and grow along the way, and I leave behind some of my past struggles, but the whole pride/humility thing doesn’t just go away with one decision. I face it every single day in a variety of situations, attitudes, and responses.
So do you.
So, instead of judging others for whose name they promote, let’s take an honest look at ourselves today.
And choose well.