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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Self Promotion

A couple of years ago I went to an event to listen to a popular Christian speaker and author.  I have had a great deal of exposure to this person.  I have benefited greatly from both their speaking and writing.  I was also aware, through other relationships of some issues with the ministry; all ministries have issues because they are populated with people.
When we have a message to share for Christ there is a thin line in seeking and audience for Him and praise for ourselves.
The presentation was great.  Good material presented extremely well.  During the question and answer portion of the event the questions that were asked were the ones that in my experience with this individual are the questions that are typically asked of them.  Every time I had heard this person respond to these questions before either in person or in a recorded session, they were answered similarly giving concise answers and suggesting resources from which this person had benefited.  I have read and had interaction with many of the books and people that have influenced this person so I was aware of the richness of those veins.  This time when they answered the questions, those rich veins were not referenced, rather the individual promoted their own work which was derived from those veins.

I was deeply saddened by this.  For two reasons, first it validated the depth of the issues of which I was aware.  Second, it scared me.  As one who is seeking to exhort others to a more intimate engagement with the Lord, I write here and in the book and workbook, I lead workshops, and from time to time am asked to speak.  The challenge is to get the word out about what one is doing.  There is a fine line between serving the Lord and serving self.  It is a battle I fight every time I open the word processor to write this.  It is a battle I fight when I talk to people about a workshop for their group, and it is especially a battle when I talk to people about supporting this ministry.

I wrote in my journal while listening to this person, “Lord, deliver me from self promotion.”  Psalm 75:6 – 7, and Colossians 3:24 came to mind.  Lord, deliver me…