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John Stanko
I'm an author and consultant who travels the world on purpose.
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Here is another comment from Judy: I think you're right on with this memo. The motive for what we say or do is the key to whether or not self-promotion is wrong. And, if I tone down what I say or do that is following God's will, for fear of what someone else may think, that also is wrong. I only dilute how I might be magnifying the Lord. It really is another topic but I think we (I) also might fear exposing our vulnerability, forgetting the Holy Spirit is guiding our steps. If we are following His will, in our purpose, He is in charge.
I received this comment from Tim, who also had trouble logging in: Here are my thoughts: I have been a business owner since 1994 and for quite awhile I did very little marketing or networking to tell folks about what we do. That was fine in the early stages of the business. Our business grew quickly through word of mouth and the yellow page listing that we had at the time. However, as we approached the late 1990s, things cooled off and we weren’t growing. That’s when I decided to join a local chamber of commerce and attend other networking functions. I believe it is perfectly acceptable to the Lord to tell others about yourself or business. After all, I could have the best business in the world, but if nobody knows about it, how is that good for my family or business? If what I am doing is using the gifts God gave me, I believe I need to tell others about it. I cannot give God the glory if others don’t know what He is doing through me. I find I must keep myself in check by not becoming prideful of my success. Ultimately all success comes from God, because he has enabled me to do what I am doing and I believe he opens the doors for opportunity as well. It’s not always easy or comfortable for me to promote my business (and really myself), but that’s what is required for others to find out about us so we can grow and bless others!
I received this comment from Judy, who had trouble posting to the site: It's easy to get hung up in the words "self-promotion". If I am promoting myself, bragging, etc. that is wrong. My work in service to the church in the community is acknowledging God by my actions and verbally as opportunities present themselves. I don't feel the need to promote me in that work. I may tell someone else how blessed I was by something that occurs. My self-promotion of my art is harder to think about. I am aware of the blessings of God as I preform the art and am led to more open doors. Self promotion comes through increased visibility and I acknowledge the gifts I have been given mostly verbally in talking to others about what I am doing, what God is doing in me and hopefully through me. I'm looking forward to reading more comments and thinking more about this.
Here is another comment I received from Rhonda that I am posting on her behalf: I meant to comment on your Mon. Memo from Nov. 26 but forgot – about self-promotion. This is one of the characteristics of U.S. Americans that we always talk about in my cross-cultural training: “I” talk vs. “we” talk Most of us have been taught from the time we’re children that we should stand out from the crowd – answer the teachers’ questions first, be chosen as president of the Spanish club, be the star athlete, etc. Very different lessons taught by many of the 70% of cultures that are more group oriented and, as a result, usually taught to be more modest. You can see this very clearly in the way people write their resumes. In the U.S., our 1st “profile summary” or whatever each person calls it, telling a potential employer that we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then we have to have accomplishment statements. I’ve helped many Americans as well as internationals to re-write their resumes in a U.S.-style. They have a very hard time understanding, let alone, developing accomplishment statements because they haven’t been taught to self-promote. So most internationals’ resumes are pretty matter-of-fact – stating their jobs, responsibilities, sometimes hobbies – without embellishment. We teach people to embellish their resumes and we expect it. Group cultures tend to believe that their work speaks for itself. In the U.S., we expect individuals to talk about what they’ve accomplished – if we don’t, we can get overlooked for promotions, etc. This comes from the U.S. value of individualism and self-achievement. We tend to teach our children to make their own decisions, speak up, and stand out. I agree with your examples of Paul and David talking about what they could do – as long as, you said, it’s not vain, conceited or selfish. As Christians, we have to believe that God has given us gifts that He wants us to use with confidence – because they came from Him.
I received this comment from Oliver: Hello, John, When I read you message this morning, the first thought I had was Matthew 5:15-16: "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." The Lord has given each of us talents and gifts to be used for His Glory. If a gift or talent is never seen it cannot be used for His Glory. Thanks, Oliver
I received this response from Stephen in South Africa: Good Morning Doctor, In my view, self promoting isn't wrong, what is wrong is the motive. For example, you are a PHD doctor, and there is absolutely nothing wrong for you to introduce yourself by the title Dr John Stanko. But in a world where everything (companies, musicians, superstars, movie stars, politicians, countries, e.t.c] are busy promoting their image, we believers are caught in the web. Jesus promoted his image by the miracles he did. Twice the father spoke from heaven to affirm him in the midst of a cloud so that they may know he is the son of God. The motive, to bring many closer to God. We are leaving in a world where many even believers have low self esteem especially when they see others on the top ladder and themselves below, thus, they feel that having an image [self promoting, self marketing] would dramatically cahnge things for them. The Holy Ghost does our marketing for us, the Bible calls us the 'salt of the world', 'the light of the world', why, so that we can shine in the world as stars of God. We already have been marketed/promoted more than we can ever imagine by the Holy Ghost. No amount of promoting can surpass what God has done for us. What we really need, a change of mindset and see ourselves the way God sees us in the scriptures. However, by nature of our professions, e,g lawyers, medical doctors, Pastors, engineers,drivers,teachers, nurses, e.t.c, there is no harm to promote your self in those line bearing in mind who will get the glory. Stephen Masengu