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November 25, 2012


John Stanko

I received this response from Stephen in South Africa:

Good Morning Doctor,

In my view, self promoting isn't wrong, what is wrong is the motive. For example, you are a PHD doctor, and there is absolutely nothing wrong for you to introduce yourself by the title Dr John Stanko. But in a world where everything (companies, musicians, superstars, movie stars, politicians, countries, e.t.c] are busy promoting their image, we believers are caught in the web.

Jesus promoted his image by the miracles he did. Twice the father spoke from heaven to affirm him in the midst of a cloud so that they may know he is the son of God. The motive, to bring many closer to God. We are leaving in a world where many even believers have low self esteem especially when they see others on the top ladder and themselves below, thus, they feel that having an image [self promoting, self marketing] would dramatically cahnge things for them.

The Holy Ghost does our marketing for us, the Bible calls us the 'salt of the world', 'the light of the world', why, so that we can shine in the world as stars of God. We already have been marketed/promoted more than we can ever imagine by the Holy Ghost. No amount of promoting can surpass what God has done for us. What we really need, a change of mindset and see ourselves the way God sees us in the scriptures.

However, by nature of our professions, e,g lawyers, medical doctors, Pastors, engineers,drivers,teachers, nurses, e.t.c, there is no harm to promote your self in those line bearing in mind who will get the glory.

Stephen Masengu

Phil Weingart

Humility can be defined as the honest and sober estimation of oneself. Romans 12:3 says that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but rather that we should assess our gifts accurately.

It is not sin to represent oneself accurately. Jesus was not boasting when He said of Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Paul was not sinning when he said "I am an apostle." And we are not boasting if, based on a genuine call from God that is recognized by the Church, we identify ourselves accurately as what we are.

What we're calling "self-promotion" is really nothing more than that -- advertising oneself accurately.

I recently published my first book, and the Holy Spirit has me promoting it diligently. He wants my gifts operating where they will benefit the rest of the Body of Christ, and I concur. That requires self-promotion. I am not comfortable with it, but it is God who is directing this, so I will do it as well as I know how. Jesus did the same when He launched His own ministry. There is no sin in it.


Wow Doc! This is ALREADY helping me MORE than you can ever imagine! Thank you for posting this. I love both your comments and thoughts as well as those that also write in. Your questions are challenging and thought provoking!

The journey is hard because of the constant memories of what I was taught, but your willingness to post this is a tremendous blessing!

It was good to read Phil's comments as one who had just published his FIRST book. I appreciate the fact that he says,"I am not comfortable with it, but it is God"...

Reading and hearing from real people such as yourself warms my heart and helps to reassure me that I am on the right path.

Thanks Doc! I will keep reading and plugging my way through...

P.S. I was deeply moved by the FIRST FOUR words of your article...

"Thank you for being a friend"....

John Stanko

I received this comment from Oliver:

Hello, John,

When I read you message this morning, the first thought I had was Matthew 5:15-16: "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

The Lord has given each of us talents and gifts to be used for His Glory. If a gift or talent is never seen it cannot be used for His Glory.




I agree with all of the comments! The same verses were coming to my mind, do not think more highly of yourself doesn't say not to think high of yourself at all. I believe with Stephen the motive and heart is what matters. It is also what speaks louder than your words. That is why false humility never works. Our heart communicates in more ways than our words.

We can be motivated to "promote" ourselves, our gifts and talents out of a genuine desire to serve others, to help others, to benefit them and ultimately bring glory to God. That would be ideal. I have seen as I am sure many others have promotion from a young or less developed maturity and it is a real turn off and makes people not want to promote at all.

But if you have the tools someone else NEEDS and you don't put yourself out there you are robbing them of the tools God has entrusted to you. And that could be the same for simply blessing someone, or entertaining someone. Being faithful with your gift might require that you let others know what you have to offer.

I also agree that the Holy Spirit opens doors and where He is working there will be a great attraction to what he is doing. So there doesn't need to be a "worry" or frustration about promoting yourself. But obedient yet bold and confident steps can be good.


A really thought-provoking topic. As I read through it and most of the comments that preceded mine I remembered a line from a song from my childhood. "Humble yourself before The Lord, He will lift you up..." And that just tied in with what people had posted before me. Erica was spot on with her assessment that "do not think more highly of yourself doesn't say not to think high of yourself at all".

The real issue for me here is at what point, and indeed to what measure do we acknowledge GOD in all of our "self" promotion. While Paul did most certailnly introduce himself as an Apostle, his acknowledgement of GOD was never too far behind, and in most cases even preceded the title of Apostle.
-Romans 1v1 "I Paul, a servant of Christ, called to be an Apostle.."
-1Corinthians 1v1 "I Paul, called by the will of GOD to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus..."
-2Corinthians 1v1 "I Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of GOD..."
-Galations 1v1 "I Paul, an Apostle - NOT from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and GOD The Father..."
This is a consistent theme in the salutations of not only Paul, but his fellow Apostles Peter and James. While I agree that it may not always be called for to introduce yourself as, for example, I Simba, a Sports Pundit enabled by GOD, or this is your Captain, annointed by Jesus Christ, John speaking, a genuine acknowledgement within our hearts of GOD's influence is essentiaal.

While we all have been blessed with talents that could benefit others, the danger is always getting ahead of ourselves, and, heaven forbid, even GOD by believing that it is ALL in our own steam. It can be really difficult for creative people to share the accolades/glory with GOD (The CREATOR). Joseph, however, always serves as another grounding reminder that helps put things into perspective. In Genesis 40, when he has been imprisoned by his master he acknowledges GOD (''...do not interpretations belong to GOD..") before interpreting the dreams of the cup-bearer and the baker. Even when called before Pharoah, and his reputation somewhat precedes him he still says..."...It is not in me, GOD will give Pharoah a favourable answer...". Even Daniels response to king Nebuchadnezzar is insightful,..."...there is a GOD in heaven who reveals mysteries...".

It then, in some way, makes me ponder further what "self promotion" really means to me. Is it reserved for the times I showcase my skill-set and at no point acknowledge GOD verbally, or through my actions? Will I allow myself to milk the applause and adulation where GOD should be getting the glory? Or is it possible that as I am celebrated GOD is glorified as a result of HIS role in what I am doing?

I have often read it off stickers heard it said that we should "do our best & let GOD do the rest". While I appreciate the sentiment being conveyed, I have been come to believe that it is MIGHTILY important to also acknowledge HIM who has blessed us with the ability to "do our best" in the first place.

John Stanko

Here is another comment I received from Rhonda that I am posting on her behalf:

I meant to comment on your Mon. Memo from Nov. 26 but forgot – about self-promotion.

This is one of the characteristics of U.S. Americans that we always talk about in my cross-cultural training: “I” talk vs. “we” talk

Most of us have been taught from the time we’re children that we should stand out from the crowd – answer the teachers’ questions first, be chosen as president of the Spanish club, be the star athlete, etc. Very different lessons taught by many of the 70% of cultures that are more group oriented and, as a result, usually taught to be more modest.

You can see this very clearly in the way people write their resumes. In the U.S., our 1st “profile summary” or whatever each person calls it, telling a potential employer that we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then we have to have accomplishment statements.

I’ve helped many Americans as well as internationals to re-write their resumes in a U.S.-style. They have a very hard time understanding, let alone, developing accomplishment statements because they haven’t been taught to self-promote. So most internationals’ resumes are pretty matter-of-fact – stating their jobs, responsibilities, sometimes hobbies – without embellishment. We teach people to embellish their resumes and we expect it. Group cultures tend to believe that their work speaks for itself. In the U.S., we expect individuals to talk about what they’ve accomplished – if we don’t, we can get overlooked for promotions, etc.

This comes from the U.S. value of individualism and self-achievement. We tend to teach our children to make their own decisions, speak up, and stand out.

I agree with your examples of Paul and David talking about what they could do – as long as, you said, it’s not vain, conceited or selfish. As Christians, we have to believe that God has given us gifts that He wants us to use with confidence – because they came from Him.

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