Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth

Dane Ortlund has written a little exhortation that is by far the best thing I read online all weekend. Dane’s remarks are about internet narcissism among Christians. The scriptural basis is Proverbs 27:2:

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
Someone else, and not your own lips.

Here’s the heart of Dane’s meditation on this text:

Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter are fantastic tools with unprecedented potential for strategic, efficient kingdom instrumentality… But… the amount of self-foregrounding that takes place on these media–by Christians–by pastors–is troubling. Promotion of our own books, letting everyone know where we’ve been and whom we’ve met, drawing attention to what others are saying of us–how easily we Corinthianize and employ the world’s mindset for ostensibly kingdom purposes.

What are we doing, brothers? I am asking myself no less than you.

What if we made up our minds to refuse to quietly electronically parade whatever accomplishments the Lord grants? What if we let the Lord decide who knows of us and what we’ve done? What if every post, tweet, and FB update was passed through the fine filter of Matthew 23:12?

What are we of? What’s driving us? Is this how true faith acts, faith in a God who one day ‘will disclose the purposes of the heart’ (1 Cor. 4:5)? …

As your own personal online presence, why not determine to honor the Lord by getting up each day, keeping your hand to the plow, and letting him sort out who knows about you and what you’ve done? When you’re unsure as to whether or not something is self-promoting, why not err on the side of blessed obscurity, to which God loves to draw near?

We are increasingly cultivating an online evangelical culture of self-projection. Trying our hardest, of course, not to look like we’re self-promoting. This is not where God’s power lies.

Dane acknowledges that there are certainly some gray areas here and that the rules are not all “black and white.” Nevertheless, I think the spirit of this word is right on the mark. “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth.” Read the rest here.

(HT: Justin Taylor)


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