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As a Christian writer, a paradox continues to baffle me. It has to do with the constant tug of war between self-promotion and exalting the name of the Lord—between edifying people and promoting my writing. Writing for the glory of God continues to abundantly bless. Its purpose is to bless others. Yet, the blessings are received inward as well as going out to others. The goal of expanding my influence (I hope) is to increase opportunities to write, so that many more people may enjoy my work and receive blessing from it.
Some mornings I find the prayer of Jabez on my lips (1 Chronicles 4:10), asking God to extend my borders, grow me and my circle of influence to include as many souls as possible. But I wrestle with my true motives. Other Christian writers and ministers of the gospel of Christ, tell me there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a successful writer and hoping to gain a greater reader base. And I’m convinced they are correct.
However, it becomes problematic when the line between blessing others and prideful self-promotion becomes too faint to distinguish. While regarding certain other Christian writer’s promotional tactics my eyebrows will arch up, jaw drops and I become aghast at the transparent pride and self-promoting tactics of writers who proclaim Christ as Lord. It forces me to examine myself. I don’t want to appear that way to my readers.
Like John the Baptist told his disciples, “I must decrease while He (Jesus) increases” (John 3:30). The crowds who formerly flocked to the wilderness to hear John preach and be baptized by him, were gravitating towards Jesus. John was losing his followers to Jesus. And the baptizer was joyful over that!
Though my salvation is secure, based on my faith in Jesus Christ and His work at Calvary, there also remains the rewards of work. My good works will be rewarded not only in this life, but throughout eternity. If I do my good works “to be seen by men”, then Jesus says, I will have already received my rewards in the here-and-now. And can expect no eternal compensation, except for just getting into heaven. I don’t want to spend forever as a pauper.
One wonderful Christian web-site I write devotionals for, expects me to write something about myself at the end of each meditation. It grieves me to shift the spotlight from my Lord, to me, right at the very end of the publication. Their motives are pure in hoping to help me promote myself as a writer. Yet I struggle every time as I get to that aspect of submitting the devotions.
Lord, please help me understand how to promote you and my writing at the same time, without detracting from your glory and honor. Help us as Christian writers to be willing to lose followers, if it means you will receive the glory instead of us. And please extend our reader base for us, by your limitless power. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
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