Friday, June 7, 2013

The Thin Line Between Self-Promotion and Jealousy

Self-promotion. Ugggg. I hate that phrase. Yes, I know there are some egotistical people who always seem to be promoting themselves. We all know some people like that and it can get annoying. But to be honest, I think sometimes Christians use that phrase as a "nice" way to talk bad about people they are jealous of.

For example, I have often heard pastors of churches that do not do outreach accuse fellow pastors who use mass mailing or newsprint ads as being self-promoters. In reality, the pastor using the ads simply has a deep burden for the lost and wants to use every means possible to reach as many as possible. From his perspective those ads are promoting the Gospel of the Kingdom. He cares not whether people know who he is, he just wants people to know who Jesus is.

Or what about a pastor who has a radio or television program. Is he a self-promoter because he gains a certain degree of notoriety through those avenues of ministry? Clearly, it is possible that his ego might swell, and he could become a self-promoter. But many a good pastor has preached faithfully from his pulpit, and had his sermons broadcast around the local community, or even the nation, on television or radio without falling prey to ego. He does it not to promote himself, but to join God in His efforts of world evangelization.

Or what about the Christian writer. He works hard to write Bible lessons, tracts, books and blog posts that he prays will impact the lives of people he will never meet on this side of heaven. Is he a self-promoter because he writes such things and then shares them with others?

Or what about the Christian leader who feels led to start a Bible college or other ministry training institution. Does he do this because he wants to promote himself, or because he wants to train others to teach and preach the Word so that all people can have a chance to hear the Gospel before the Lord's return?

In any of the examples I have given, it is possible for the person to be a self-promoter, but it is also possible for that person to simply be following the leading of the Spirit to expand the Kingdom of God using the skills that God has gifted them with. Those of us who may never be famous must make sure we are not critical of those who may achieve some level of fame. Let us refrain from being jealous. Attempting to mask our jealousy under thinly veiled attacks on the character of others by calling them self-promoters reveals our own wicked and evil hearts.

Let us rejoice when a church down the road grows beyond the size of our own. Let us rejoice that people listen to certain pastors on the radio or television. Let us rejoice that some writers have the ability to say things in ways that inspire, educate and motivate people to be better Christians. Let us rejoice in what God is doing in His kingdom instead of trying to tear it down. Let us stop using the phrase "self-promotion" as a weapon to attack those whom we are jealous of and let us spend our energy and efforts lifting up Jesus instead.

For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus


  1. Thanks, Terry. Glad you're part of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook so I could highlight this post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog.

  2. Thanks Mary. And I hope a lot of people find your blog, it has a lot of great stuff on it.

  3. jealous drives many such accusations. we are not to judge another's heart.