We live in a time when we’re encouraged on almost every side to promote ourselves.

Post your status, take a selfie, put that 26.2 bumper sticker on your car.

We’re our own image consultants.

The back of our cars are our personal billboards.

Instagram can become a carefully crafted index of our lives.

And what are the unintended consequences?

How do we see ourselves? Do we see ourselves through that filtered lens of Instagram or do we willingly submit ourselves to the Lord’s all-seeing eyes?

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13

I see how this insidiousness has worked its way into my own soul when I follow the bread crumbs of my thought life. I start praying for someone and quickly my thoughts are straying towards imagining an amazing result because I prayed.

Or I feel led to start a mom’s prayer group at my school and quickly I start fantasizing a revival happening because of my own efforts.

How many faithful believers lived lives of obscurity? How many missionaries served faithfully for years or even decades without visible fruit?

Does obedience only count if it’s worthy of a Facebook post?

Perhaps our habit of self-promotion is merely another example of what Jesus warned against in Matthew 6:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

So let’s be done with sounding trumpets before us, and slapping another bumper sticker on the back of our cars.

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