‘I really like the Passion Translation wording of this passage.
Romans 12:2 – 3, “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes…be emptied of self-promotion and do not create a fasle image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem.”
The Harvard Business Review has a great article from Sarah Green Carmichael about self-promotion from a secular point of view.
She shares “Reams of psychological studies show that being perceived as modest is associated with a wide range of positive outcomes. The message is clear: People do not value confidence unless it is accompanied by competence—and even when it is, they prefer to see as little confidence surplus as possible.”
Chamorro-Premuzic’s research on confidence shows that it is actually low self-esteem—not a healthy ego or confidence—that propels us to success.
After all, he writes, “wanting to be good at something is incompatible with thinking you are good at something.” He advises the ambitious “not to have high confidence, but to have high competence.” Don’t “fake it till you make it” or strive to promote yourself. Instead, work hard. Work well. Be likable.
This all sounds very similar to what the Bible tells us in Romans 12:3. God’s wisdom wins again and the world is finally catching up.
So what does this mean for a Christian author?
I believe it means we do not make it our aim to be best-selling authors or care at all about the number of books we sell. After all, the label ‘a best-selling author’ actually has nothing to do with the number of books sold, rather, it is based on the opinions of a few people at the New York Times. They readily admit that those that make the best-seller title are based on editorial opinion, that’s it. If that is true and we are not to ‘imitate the ideals and opinions of the culture around us and we are to ‘be emptied of self-promotion’, what should we do and why should we write?
F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
The answer is also stated in Romans 12:3, ‘…honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith’. Our worth is based on what God has done through and for us. His-story in our life is creating history and it will be remembered by our children and grandchildren. If we want what God has done for and through us made known to other people to bless them, serve them, and help them, we need to write it down so they can read it. We need to speak so they can hear. This should be our motivation to write – to serve others and bless God. The rest will come…