You’re really not that important! Really!
For many leaders, especially those that have experienced some measure of success, the temptation to promote themselves and their accomplishments is a temptation that is easy to embrace. When young and inexperienced, it was easy to acknowledge our inabilities or weaknesses. But with more experience and more accolades can come a subtle (sometimes not so subtle) shift.
We can begin to believe our ‘press clippings’ and pride takes root. Initially it’s not so obvious as we seek to cover up the shifting ground within our hearts. But, what is taking root finally bursts forth in our behavior. We talk more and more about ourselves and take more and more credit for our accomplishments without giving at least tacit credit to others who truly did a lot of the work. It becomes more and more about ‘me’ and less and less about the Lord.
Here’s some reminders on what the Lord has to say about self-promotion and its root – pride.
But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthians 10:17-18
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
someone else, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1 Corinthians 3:5-7
It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to seek one’s own honor. Proverbs 25:27
The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:5-6 (NIV 1984)
So, how’s your heart when people praise you? Think back on some recent conversations – how much did you talk about yourself and your accomplishments?
It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “If you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power. Any man can stand adversity–only a great man can stand prosperity.”