Can platform building hold hands with Christianity – by Kate Motaung
“You need to have a platform.”
Dip your toe into the publishing world, and it won’t be long before your foot feels the splash of these words. Even authors with top-notch manuscripts are being turned down because they don’t have enough e-mail subscribers or social media followers.
While I understand the need for platforms for marketing and publicity, a question still rises in my mind: Can self-promotion mesh with Christianity?
How can we, as Christians, exalt ourselves in good conscience when the One who “made himself nothing” calls us to humble ourselves?
As I seek to build a platform for my writing, I should be asking the same questions as Paul in Galatians 1:10 – “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I, for one, have gotten sucked in by the desire for acknowledgement. I’ve gawked with starry eyes at the Christian authors with strong influence. I’ve granted permission for admiration to dance with envy. I’ve allowed respect to hold hands with jealousy.
Deep down, most of us want to be known. But at what cost? And by whom? And why?
This whole ‘platform building’ thing reminds me of the people in Genesis, who were tempted to rise to the top, to show off their accomplishments, to paint their name in the sky, to gain glory for themselves. They built the Tower of Babel to demonstrate their ability, and what did God do? He frustrated their language.
With a reverent and holy fear, I should stand back and recognize that God could very well do the same thing to me. If my writing is motivated by pride or a desire to promote myself, God would do well to frustrate my language.
As Christians, the Bible says we are the light of the world. God even tells us to let our light shine. But why? And how? So that we can be seen?
Jesus says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
It’s all about the glory of God.
A lamp is not lit for its own sake. Its light shines for the sake of others.
How can we take the lamp we’ve been given and turn its light onto Christ, the only deserving recipient?
How do we reconcile “make yourself nothing” with “let your light shine”?
God gives each of His children gifts, and He gives them for a reason. He wants us to use them, not stash them away or hide them. Yet the purpose is the same as the light He gives – each gift is meant for His glory.
So how can we, as Christian writers, seek to magnify Christ through our writing gifts? How do we build a platform that will elevate Jesus above ourselves?
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Kate Motaung is author of the e-book, Letters to Grief, hosts the Five Minute Friday blog link-up, and writes at Heading Home. Her memoir will be released by Discovery House in 2017.