My client was writing some biographical information for his LinkedIn page. But his heart felt uncomfortable as he declared: “I did this and I did that.” He looked at me and said: “Let another praise you, not your own mouth.” He reminded me those words were from Proverbs 27:2. I explained that many people write their own biographical information in the third person, as if someone else is writing it. So it will read: “He did this and he did that!”
We immediately realized however, if we are writing about ourselves, whether in the first or third person, this was still praising oneself. We both began to brainstorm: how should a Christian write about his or her accomplishments? How do we humbly market ourselves and credibly share our own achievements without being haughty?
Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in conduct.
We are reminded in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” In short, we want to stay away from pride and humble ourselves like Jesus. How did he do it? He died a shameful and disgraceful death so you and I can live in his glory forever.
As our conversation continued, the following ideas came to mind for writing our own bio:
- Try to stick to who we are rather than what we’ve done. In other words: “I am a son of the living God who believes I am divinely called to speak, write, and spiritually lead others to Jesus.”
- Describe how we arrived at this unique calling and how God is actively involved.
- Give God glory for every accomplishment or achievement.
- Remind the reader that it is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us. (Galatians 2:20)
- Credit God and the mentors he has placed in our lives who have helped us be who we are.
- The more we honor God for success in our lives, the less likely we will be fooled into thinking we have done something on our own.
I was meeting with someone recently and asked how he has been able to keep God first in his business as well as his personal life. I’ve known this person for many years and have admired how he has remained humble, at peace and yet very successful from a business perspective. He began talking about his wife. How the two of them spend their individual time each morning in prayer and meditation. But, then, before either leaves the house, they hold hands and pray together. He talked about how they, together, offer their day to the Lord; how they turn over all issues for the day to Jesus, how they pray for peace on each other as the day begins. The image he created was not only beautiful, but it obviously works.
Now you may be thinking “I’m not married.” I can’t do that each day. But God may have already sent a spiritual companion in your life who can pray with you daily. And, if not, ask him for one. While you wait, ask the Holy Spirit to pray with you each day as you offer the day to God. After all, who could be a better prayer partner for you?
“It is better to be humble with the poor than to share plunder with the proud” Proverbs 16:19 (NAB).
As we live for Christ in our work, let’s allow God to share our achievements through the mouths of others. And whenever we are asked about ourselves, let’s remember to glorify God in all our answers.
About Mike Van Vranken
Mike Van Vranken, a lifelong Catholic, is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Following forty years of leading, coaching, and developing business owners, Mike founded Mike Van Vranken Ministries to fulfill his passion to bring Jesus to the world around him. He brings his experiences as a mentor, leader, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur to provide teaching and spiritual leadership to all who are interested. His dream is to deliver the teachings of Jesus to women and men, old and young, poor and rich, people of every background and diversity — to the entire body of Christ.
Mike is co-author of the brand new book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. In paperback and on Kindle now at amazon.com. He and Barbara, his wife of 42 years, live in Shreveport, LA. Discover more about Mike at www.mikevanvrankenministries.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google.