Words: Praise You?

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2)

We live in a culture of self-promotion. To paint the best possible picture of ourselves for others has always been human nature, but we’re turning it into an art form. Your school guidance counselor probably showed you how to do it very professionally.

words_350But anyone with a Facebook or Twitter or Instagram account will be way ahead of her. Most of us have spent hours carefully constructing those posts to make our online self-representation as cool (or as “not stupid” or as “original”) as we can. We want people to know what we’re good at.

The advice of this proverb is to retire from the self-promotion business. Words about how good you are will be much more powerful coming from other lips — and you’ll be more respected holding on to those words than handing them out to everyone you meet. That will free you up to use your words to promote others.

Think: What do you risk by not telling others about your accomplishments? What could it cost you? What do you have to gain by keeping quiet about what you’re good at?

Pray: Ask God to help you to avoid praising yourself and to trust God to promote you when He wants to through the words of others.

Do: Tune your radar this week to notice when people are self-promoting or promoting others with their words. Notice also how each impacts your opinion of those people.