Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I - Me - My

Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's Dream -   UNKNOWN; Illustrator of Henry Davenport Northrop's 'Treasures of the Bible', 1894
Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Daniel 4:19-37

TO CHEW ON: "The king spoke saying, 'Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honour of my majesty?'" Daniel 4:30

The dream that King Nebuchadnezzar told Daniel in yesterday's reading he interprets in today's. It is not good news for the king. He will be removed from his throne, driven away by his own subjects because of what appears to be insanity.

But, Daniel says at the end of his interpretation, maybe you can change this fate by changing your ways (Daniel 4:27).

The king changes nothing. Perhaps it was for him like it is for us. We get a scare and for a few days resolve to make things right. But life goes on. The memory of the traumatizing moment becomes blurry and unreal. Eventually we forget all about it.

A year later we find Nebuchadnezzar walking about his palace congratulating himself on his achievements: "Is not this great Babylon that I have built..." And the judgement falls just as the dream and Daniel predicted.

What a good thing it is that we don't get judged in the same way every time we congratulate ourselves on our efforts and sing our own praises as if we were the engineers of our successes.

There are at least three reasons to avoid such prideful thoughts and talk:

1. It is ugly
  • "To seek one's own glory is not glory" - Proverbs 25:27.
  • "Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; A stranger and not your own lips" - Proverbs 27:2

2. It is unrealistic
  • "It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall" - Psalm 75:7 (NLT).
  • "Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your next among the stars, From there I will bring you down,' says the Lord" - Obadiah 1:4

3. It is demonic

  • Such prideful thoughts brought down Lucifer - Isaiah 14:12-15.

Dear God, please help me to identify pride in my own heart and to deal with it. Amen.

MORE: Pride and social media

In these days of publicity and promotion by social media the pride/self-promotion pitfalls are many. Keiki Hendrix, author and book blogger, writes in her newsletter:

"Many authors feel they must promote themselves and their books in order to be recognized. This is why you see so many Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts with the words 'Me' or 'My Book' or something similar.

"I read the posts and I sigh to myself. Reading an author talk all about themselves, their book, their speaking engagements, etc. is a big turn off. I wrote about this ill advised marketing strategy for writers  in the article The What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) Factor recently. Here’s an excerpt:

Many times we don’t realize that what  we are silently conveying to our listeners or readers when we speak only of ourselves, our books, our own interests. In many aspects we disrespect the reader because the focus is on getting the book sold and not getting the message heard. 
If the majority of our social media status updates are links all about us, all about our books, or all about what we want to sell, what we are silently conveying to the reader is not adding value.  Instead we are participating in what marketing consultant, Mac MacIntosh, calls “we-we-weeing all over ourselves.”
Keiki Hendrix - The Kindred Connection Newsletter

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