“Don’t blow your own horn,” my mother used to tell me. “Let other people figure out on their own how brilliant you are.” Great advice! She was right, of course.
We are all somewhat insecure, and some of us are seriously insecure. We all want to be noticed, admired, and loved, and when those things aren’t happening fast enough, we figure we have to use an accelerant, like more charcoal lighter on damp briquettes. The trouble is, people don’t like braggarts, and our efforts at self-promotion easily backfire
It is enough that God notices our hard work, sincerity, and sacrifice. If we truly believe that he takes care of his people, we can be patient about being recognized and wait for God’s time. If we know that we are pleasing him with our lives, we won’t be so needy about having to manipulate others into noticing us. Then—when people think that their words of approval were their own idea, they will be much more sincere and real: “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2).
Much better than praising yourself is to look for things to praise in other people. Try it for three months. You will start to acquire more friends, who for some mysterious reason find that they enjoy being around you.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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