The hardest part about “marketing” today, is that you are the one responsible for selling your own product. Traditional publicists still market your product on traditional news outlets (magazines, newspapers, radio, etc.), but much of marketing is now done over internet and social media. Therefore, as an author, it becomes my responsibility to “build my platform.”
I now cringe every time I hear that phrase. I physically cringe as my spirit immediately roils in turmoil at that phrase. And through my brain runs Genesis 11:4, “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’”
When we use this phrase, “build a platform,” we are metaphorically doing exactly what the Babylonians tried to do: build a city around a platform that approaches God, to prove our god-likeness, and make our own names great.
God destroyed the Babylonians. The one thing that terrified them into this decision became their punishment: irrelevance. He destroyed their platform and scattered them throughout the world, where not a single person remembered their names. Irrelevancy begins with the decision to build a platform for our own namesake.
How dare we strive to build our own platforms. How dare I strive to make my own name great. I was so utterly convicted in this that I completely quit social media– not intentionally, like a fast– more like, every time I tried to get on there, I was overwhelmed with disgust and revulsion for what I was doing.
There is nothing wrong with participating in social media. The sin creeps in when building our own names becomes the goal. As Christians, there is only one name we are to build: God’s. If God desires to make our name great–like he promised Abraham–that is His business. We need to leave it with Him.
The second we take our eyes off of God and doing His will in our lives, is the second our spirituality and our ministries begin to die. The second our eyes turn inward, we begin to see ourselves as growing bigger and bigger, as God appears smaller and smaller. And our ministry suffers. God forbid, it should get to the point that He has to dismantle what He helped us build because it has become an idol, a distraction, instead of a God-led, Holy Spirit-filled ministry which lifts up His name.
Your ministry may look very, very different than mine. I love how God is so creative- that each of us ministers and loves differently. However, every opportunity for service in God’s name is also an opportunity for pride and self-centeredness in our own names. I know more than anybody how easy it is to flip that switch and not even know it until God brings down the hammer. My oh-so-wise mother reminded me that if we are not starting every single day with an intentional donning of the armor of God (Eph 6), we will fall prey to the Adversary. Where are you the most vulnerable to that vicious lion? Get that armor up, and bind it with unceasing prayer. That is our only hope.
I challenge you to a month of waking up and donning that armor with me. I am doing this for completely selfish reasons, as I need it as much as anyone. I am hoping that we can successfully break some cycles of temptation over this month together. I would love to know how to pray for you– I’ve just spent 600 words telling you how you can pray for me. I would love to return the favor. Please comment on or like this blog, and I will pray for you by name–God knows your struggle so I don’t need to unless you specifically want to email and tell me your story!
May God bless us in this journey together. Amen.