“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”
Have you ever overheard someone complimenting you without the knowledge that you were nearby or within earshot? Do you remember how you felt? Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington tells a wonderful story of coming home one day, after auditioning for yet another acting job, just in time to overhear his wife and her friend talking about him. The conversation was so intense that neither of them heard when he entered the apartment. In the conversation, his wife Paulette, a former actress, tries to convince her friend of just how talented an actor her husband is; yet, the friend, not really listening, insists instead that he needs to give up his “dream” of becoming an actor "and find a "real" job."
So, after eavesdropping on the conversation and listening to his wife defend his dream, he quietly eased back through the front door and re-entered the apartment, this time, announcing himself. The women immediately changed the topic of their conversation. Paulette's faith in him restored his decision to push the dream even further. One week later he received his pivotal role in, A Soldiers Play, at the renowned Negro Ensemble Company Theater. The play would later be made into the feature film, A Soldier Story, launching what has become an Oscar-winning career.
Promoting yourself, boasting of your talents and gifts is truly irrelevant; for the most part, most people will not believe you anyway. Fame and notoriety are so fickle that, today people love you, and tomorrow they don't. We know this was true even in the life of Jesus Christ. Less than one week—only a few days before the Sanhedrin called out to have Jesus crucified, He had been exalted, hailed at the gates of Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna in the Highest.”
It is more honest to stay true to whom you are, using your talent and gifts as if you were using them for God Himself, with the knowledge that God is never fickle; He does not waiver with the whims of the day. Use your talents and gifts without the desire for self-promotion, because the truth is, if you are excellent, using your talents exceedingly well, everyone will notice! L.
Study Reference: Matthew 21:7-11 & Proverbs 27:2
From: "To Thine Own Self Be True." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Aidan Photograffeuse