About that personal branding conversation

Recently on social media I slammed what I called “personal branding” and included a screen shot of a piece of a text conversation in which I not only said that all the personal branding out in the social media world made me want to puke (it does) but so did the “people of the brand.” The latter was pretty stupid since I made no attempt to define what I meant by personal branding or to identify whom I meant by the people of the brand. In one broad sweep, I inadvertently threw the whole Christian publishing world under the bus and, this, after working with teams of godly people in publishing who were not remotely on my mind. Forgive me for that.

The slam was toward what I see as a deadly viral infiltration within a much larger force that, for lack of a better label, we often call the industry. This term, too, is unfairly broad-sweeping because there are individuals working within it with godly character, motives and practices. Good Lord, I want to be one of them and clamor and struggle and fight to be among them. Sometimes I win the fight for my soul and other times I don’t. But the tweet started a conversation online that went on for days and made it obvious to Karen Swallow Prior (who also published an article today) and me that a nerve had been hit. We watched dialogues ensue between many women out there who are frustrated, trying to do what it takes to build a platform and yet avoid getting sucked into the maelstrom.

This post is to give a little more space than Twitter can offer to the subject. I’ll try to be as straightforward as I know how in what I meant by personal branding and should have made clearer at the time: Self-sales.

By the people of the brand I meant those who do it ad nauseam and those who train, coax, pressure or help people to. I’m not talking about selling books. I’m talking about selling ourselves, though let’s admit the two can be about as easy to separate as the peanut butter and jelly in your sandwich. Selling our souls doesn’t always involve money. I could sell my soul just for the power of having a blog that attracts hundreds of thousands of readers. It’s about notoriety, an understandable and legitimate goal out in the world market. But we are Jesus followers.

We’re attempting to sell ourselves in the name of Jesus. We’re being tutored in the post-Christian modern art of self-glory for God’s glory.

We’re intentionally building up followers and followings for ourselves and excusing it and confusing it with building up the church. I know, I know. We’ve all heard this a thousand times.

“None of us like it,” we’ll reason. “But this is the world we live in. This is how it is now. We didn’t come up with it but we have to accept it. It’s a (here goes) necessary evil.”

The thing is, “necessary evil” is still evil. I don’t think that excuse is flying with Jesus. For Jesus-followers, “necessary evil” is an oxymoron.

If we don’t push back against this mudslide, the church will become the Tower of Babel with a cross on top: an assemblage of people who’ve been successfully seduced into thinking it’s perfectly acceptable to hammer daily in the public sphere building up a name for ourselves in Jesus’ Name.

We’re trying to become godly versions of 2 Timothy 3:2-4.

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

We’re out there in front of the world trying to be godly lovers of self, godly lovers of money, godly proud and arrogant, godly slanderous, godly brutal, godly treacherous, and godly conceited and godly about how we love pleasure more than we love God.

We’re fighting a losing battle at the cost of our souls. There is no godly way to self-promote. Yet God’s way of spreading the hope, truth and life of Christ is still through people and, yes, in part by making use of their personalities. Sometimes it’s a fine line and it’s up to each of us to learn how to identify when we’re crossing it. We’re people of the Spirit. If we yearn for Him to, plead for Him to, He will be more than happy to cause us to gross ourselves out when we’re doing it. I ask for it just like that. In those words. Ask to know quickly. Ask to know before you post or even seconds after it. Maybe one of the godliest features in all of social media is “delete.” Also trust your gut when you know you’re being advised to do something in order to build a following or sell a book that feels gross.

What troubles me most is that I believe many individuals start with a pure heart and God-infused desire. We deeply want to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ and testify to His greatness, His goodness, His grace, His cross, His forgiveness, cleansing, healing and love. All these avenues – books, blogs, podcasts, live broadcasts, social media posts and so on – offer tremendous means of communicating the gospel and, with diligence, some actual discipleship. But I’ve been neck-deep in this now for well over 30 years. I’ve lived long enough, experienced enough, witnessed enough and heard enough to tell you point-blank the devil doesn’t take a potential threat to the darkness lying down. He can’t sleep with a light on so he does everything he can to cover it. If he can’t get us to quit, he’ll settle for making us hypocrites and narcissists and, in the wording of Galatians 3:3, what we started in the Spirit we end up finishing in the flesh.

He’s shockingly patient and scheming because the same approach doesn’t work across the board. He studies us, knowing that all humans by undisciplined-nature are addicts. All he has to do is figure out what kind of crack to put in your pipe and the seduction is on.

The seduction we’re talking about here is being known. Seen. Heard. To be worshipped would be the ultimate but that may be too obvious. The sickest part is that we’re being intoxicated into thinking that all of this is to make Jesus known. Self-promotion becomes justifiable as the means to the end-goal of Jesus-promotion.

It’s not working. It’s never going to work.

And yet this is the world you and I were entrusted with the gospel of Jesus Christ to serve. I don’t know what you’re going to do with all of this. I’m probably not going to drop off social media any time soon because it’s one of the most effective ways of reaching people that we have ever had at our fingertips. I’m also probably not going to make all my posts blatantly gospel-oriented because, for me, that can become just as showy and smug and, if it’s all I do, I lose access to the very people I hope most to reach. I try to retain some common ground (TV shows, for instance) if I want people on the other side of the street to occasionally come sit in my yard and visit. This may not be your way but it’s mine for now. It’s not without risk but none of this is.

I’m going to keep trying to live a tiny sliver of my life out there on social media in hopes Jesus will be evident in my teaching, relating, writing, dialoguing, mothering, grandmothering, friending, suffering, questioning, laughing and crying. And I’m going to plead with God every morning to help me die to my own rotting flesh and live in His Spirit and not misuse my big mouth. And I’m going to try to sit at this social media bar for a few minutes every day without becoming an alcoholic. If I can’t do it, I’m going to quit. Or at least go into rehab. Because this place is deadly.

I don’t have tidy solutions to offer in this post. What shifts into sin for one person may not be sinful for another. God looks at our hearts. Knows our motives. He’s onto our bull. He alone can call out a well-played humble brag. All I know how to do is repent on my face for my own sins and catch myself in my own self-promotions.

There is a way to do this, I think. It’s just expensive. It just won’t be the money-maker or the power broker going forward that we could acquire if we do the Jesus-thing the world’s way. All who push back will take a pay cut, whatever form of currency their pay may be. The answer will be found in serving God as faithfully and as purely as human hearts and souls know how and let Him build His own following and determine who listens to what voice and when. As the saying goes, let each of us tend to the depth of our ministries and let God tend to the breadth. The fight will be fierce and let me promise you this: should Jesus entrust you with a large platform for a season, you will never be more at risk of compromise and cowardice than when you are at the top tier. You may reach some heights doing the honest-to-God Jesus-thing but the greater temptation will be the attempt  to stay on top. What goes up must come down. Fight it and you’ll make a fool of yourself. Stay steady on your feet on the Merry-Go-Round and you just might still be standing when the music quits playing and the amusement park closes.

I want to make it. I want you to, too. I want to get to that finish line keeping my eyes on the One waiting for me there. I want to love Jesus with everything in me and serve Him audaciously and faithfully. I think it’s possible out here. I just don’t think it’s probable. It will only happen for those who are willing to fight their flesh to the death by the power of the Spirit holding tight to His Word.

This is what I know for certain. It would be unspeakably better for us to drop into obscurity than sell our souls. We may have to make the biggest sacrifice in our entire social media culture: we may have to settle for being unknown.

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 6:3–10). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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140 Responses to “About that personal branding conversation”

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  1. 51
    Allison Ashton says:

    Love you Beth! Very happy to see you the other night. To me, you are just Beth who used to teaching Sunday School at Houston’s First Baptist and which I miss you and the Sunday School class and whose always kept her feet on the ground. I appreciate that, Beth! ;-). At that time Twitter or social media was not anything that was that important. With it now, I do struggle at times with some social media and advertising for Christian events. Being an artist and a graphic designer most of the time I see the creative advertising of a product or person and wonder if what they are showing fits the person who is suppose to be a witness for Christ? I might be too hard hearted. I do miss a lot of things that use to be, but that is me. For me, it’s about balance.

  2. 52
    Timberley says:

    What a great post, thank you so much for sharing your heart. I didn’t even see the original tweet but from your post I am clear on the direction you were going. It is so true and we need more people to speak up about it. As that is another form of accountability, even if it’s only online. My husband and I co-pastor a small church and co-blog and we often remind ourselves that it is not about us, our assignment is to point people to Christ even if it’s just one person. God’s measure of success is different from world’s view and the only brand we need to be concerned about is Kingdom building. God bless you for your transparency and honesty.

  3. 53
    LRC says:

    Oh yes ma’am. This message is weighty and needed.

  4. 54
    Lisa Appelo says:

    I so appreciate you holding this issue up to the Light. I have so many thoughts but one is from my reading just this week, where Paul writes in Galatians “From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.” Galatians 6:17 (NASB). May that be the only brand we ever want to be marked by.

    I’ll be chewing on the twitter thread, your post and Karen Swallow Prior’ post for while.

  5. 55
    Kay Wammack says:

    This has been on my mind so much lately. This is a difficult, especially when you have a daughter in Nashville who’s about to cut a record and branding and social media is all about promoting self! She does not care about social media, so this is struggle, but God has opened doors every step of the way so she continues to seek Him as she pursues her music career. Personally over the past year, I’ve been convicted about what I put on social media and now, before I post, I try to examine my motives and see if my post could be seen as prideful or judgmental in any way. If so, i just let it go and I talk to the Lord about it – instead of the world. He’s a better listener and usually tells me to quit being full of myself and be thankful instead!

  6. 56
    Ashton says:

    Miss. Beth,

    Thank you for putting wisdom, humility, gravity, and sincerity to the ache that has been in my heart over the last several weeks. I have looked at fellow 30 something year olds and said the words, “we have a responsibility to help this next generation understand that living for Jesus and doing what He has called you to cannot be sacrificed for self-promotion and self-branding. They have to know that hard work–secret work–and slow progress will be what sustains them in doing all they have been called to on this earth! “I am going to print this to read a few times in the next few weeks. So grateful for your honesty and challenging “Momma talk” today! –One Birmingham LITle

  7. 57
    Joan says:

    I always say that I’m glad Jesus didn’t choose this time period for his earthly pilgrimage. They would be selling his sermon on the mount in a 6 part CD series and include the hymn He sang after the last supper. Freely you have received, freely give. Hirelings are everywhere including the pulpit, you provide tools to help women discern, you are living for the benefit of others and that’s the difference in what you do. I fear for our children because social media is limited in its virtual relationships. Hug a friend, go buy a real card and personally deliver it. It’s a beautiful thing

    • 57.1
      Dorothy Kelley says:

      So real…Thank you…God is a jealous God and will not share his glory, something we all need to remember…Pastor, teacher, music ministry the whole thing we call the church…

  8. 58
    Liesel says:

    Branding. Nothing has given me a more itchy chin than when I had this talk recently about my “social media presence”. I’ve misused my story, unknowingly. I’ve hit post and seconds later deleted with the most spastic fingers praying no one saw it- because it was just yucky. The gift He gives us are weapons against our own souls and the Church when used in the flesh, especially where there is already influence. Lord, help. This isnt supposed to be a public confession, but “thank you” for dragging this into light. The call to repentance is His loving kindness always. God’s shown me this thing about operating in the depth of our healing, from there we can only go deeper. Maybe this is glory to glory. Sanctification. The good stuff. I find the more I’m looking at what others are doing that [I think] I would love to be doing, I lose so much joy in what He’s given me to savor Him in today. Like homeschooling and discipline my kids. Snuggling a sick baby and praying for him all day and doing essentially nothing else. My writing and studies are mostly for my own soul right. And I’m officially ranting. I just can’t even tell you how sweet this timing was, Miss Beth. Thank you for this focus on what it actually is to finish the day strong. Love you! ❤

  9. 59
    Sherri M. says:

    Awesome and timely words.

    When I began to blog, I scoured the internet for advice and tutorials on blogging, writing, etc, and everywhere I went, Christian and secular alike, the advice was to establish and market your “personal brand”.

    The very idea just felt gross, as you stated, and nearly caused me to give up the whole idea of blogging. But as I pondered and prayed before the Lord about it, I began to see that personal branding is one of the world’s solution to the problem of “productivity” in writing, blogging, teaching, ministry.

    Somewhere along the line we got sucked in and confused our desire for productivity with the call to fruitfulness. The question I had to ask myself was clear: do I want to be productive, or do I want to be fruitful?

    I think He was showing me that the way of the fruit-bearer is in personal abiding, not in personal branding.

  10. 60
    Leah Adams says:

    I’m late to the game because I knew nothing about what you offered on social media, but this post really touches a place in my heart. This has been a great tension for me in ministry….that line between self-promotion and stepping into those God-ordained moments and places where I can offer my thoughts or books. Early in my ministry years I was caught up in the numbers game of ministry that often leads to sinful self-promotion, but the Lord led me across a quote that has been my guiding light against this over the years. It is by Charles Swindoll:

    “Humble yourself. Rather than racing into the limelight, we need to accept our role in the shadows. I’m serious here. Don’t promote yourself. Don’t push yourself to the front. Don’t drop hints. Let someone else do that. Better yet, let God do that. If you’re great, trust me, the word will get out. You’ll be found…in God’s time. If you’re necessary for the plan, God will put you in the right place at just the precise time. God’s work is not about us; it’s His production, start to finish. So back off. Let Him pull the curtains and turn on the stage lights.”

    Thanks for offering your heart on this issue.

  11. 61
    Patty says:

    Beth, Thank you for pouring out your heart on paper. I have recently discovered true Faith and Belief, it is a literal LIFE changer. God knows what to do with this so I pray and give it to Him in prayer. He is so much more powerful than any circumstance Satan can influence and words do not do justice to descriibe His power and Glory. Thank you for your ministry and guidence in Gods word and path to Jesus.

  12. 62

    I’m so thankful that you shared this! I’ve been encouraged over and over by Godly women I respect to “build my online platform” as a “necessary evil” (those very words!), and to do all kinds of things that require tons of monthly money in upkeep costs to gain and keep online followers, etc, so that I can one day launch and market a book or other things I want to sell. But in the bottom of my heart, I just can’t get God’s peace over doing this. I write a blog with a small following. But in my face to face ministry, I’m a minister’s wife, ladies Sunday School and Bible study teacher and womens’ ministry coordinator. I keep sensing the Lord tell me to focus on those He brings me – to love and serve them well, as unto Him. He keeps reminding me that if I will trust and obey Him one step at a time, He will direct my paths and do whatever He desires with whatever “platform” He seems best for His glory through my life. What I have on my current ministry plate is gratefully enough!!! Your blog post confirmed His words to me!!!

    Thank you for your words of wisdom! I have copied and pasted them in my notes to read often when the enemy tries to pressure me to up my online presence outside of God’s timing and ways. Bless you, Beth. You have been a spiritual mama to me. I love you!

  13. 63
    Cindy says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you so much for your post. Thank you to all who have responded. I am just an average lady who loves the Lord. I’m not a big speaker, pastor or author. I have felt like God is calling me to be a speaker now for about three- four years. I’ve been asked to run breakout sessions at women’s events and I love doing it. However I have struggled with rising pride and self importance, forcing myself to take a step back and allow God to work on me in these areas. I want women to be impacted by and for Jesus not me. I want whatever I’m speaking on to be from God not myself. I prepare with lots of prayer, study and wait for God to speak to my heart. I’ve been told by others I’m gifted in this area and have questioned what I should do about it. Schooling, advertising, what? Through this post I’ve received the confirmation I was waiting for. God will lead and provide. Thank you so much. May God bless each and every one of you. Cindy

  14. 64
    Betty M says:

    Dear Beth,
    Over AM Chai Tea this AM, I decided to go back and read your post again. Still having withdrawl pains that I can no longer tweet! Maybe it is a good thing tho becuz we can get so caught up in this social media blitz we become worthless. I am beginning to think my God had something to do with the lock I have on my twitter account!
    The one thing that stops me from getting a book or two written is the way people seem to have to promote their writings. I mean they have contests to win their latest book they have blogs saturated with their writings and testimonies how their writing has changed lives. This does make me sick. Something people do not realize is alot of their personal testimony about how Goody Two Shoes they are now and how good life is now goes right over our heads. Unless it is a riveting story of His Providence in the face of great adversity, most of us really do not care! The Word of God sticks with me in these books their personal observations… Not so much.
    One key thing I have learned from listening to a radio station our synod has out of St Louis Mo on a witness segment weekly is that most of the world cares less what God has done for you they are most interested in what He can do with and for them.
    I like so much Dear Beth when you talk of the struggle you have daily. Yes! Even as redeemed people following our Lord life is a daily struggle between the world, our own sinful flesh and of course the king of deceivers, the Devil. We say and do stupid things, we feel so often we fail at what we thought by now we’d have in the bag, our own pride gets us sick.
    Our life here is not easy, it is tough but would we have it any other way?
    Blessings to you!
    Enjoy the gulf!
    Love,
    Betty

  15. 65
    Annette W. says:

    Mrs. Moore,

    I think you have hit on the struggle in my heart. I so desperately would love to be a blogger/writer/communicator on a bigger field than my local church and the small groups I have lead over the past five years. However, there is something about “putting myself out there” in a blog format that makes me hesitate. It is not that I fear the message God put on my heart, but I fear the monster of pride that could be re-awakened in my heart.

    This past year I wrote a Bible study over Colossians for the college/young adult women’s group I led. One of the most profound things God opened to my heart is in Colossians 4:7. It is Tychicus. His name is not one that is splashed all over and it is not one you find common for Christians naming their children. He was the humble servant who carried the letters of Paul. He had to be humble, reliable, and an invaluable servant of God to Paul. Yet, he is unknown.

    That is why your last words of this post mean so much to me. There are big names who have big platforms. Then there are those of us who are left to be unknown to the wider world, but being the hands and feet of the message of Christ to those close enough to touch.

    AW

  16. 66
    Stephanie says:

    Nothing you said is untrue. Being offended is a choice and I’m so very tired of that word. Read, observe, reflect, move on. If it doesn’t apply keep stepping.

    Visibility, power, validation are easy distractions- we are so busy increasing the “value” of the brand we miss endless quiet divine appointments.

  17. 67
    Judy Grieve says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing so honestly. You have taught me so much over the years, through your honesty, your style, your research and your heart.

    And your adventure into fiction writing was excellent.

    Blessings to you and may you come to see Gods will for us all in this.

    I continue to memorize verses, although my retention is often faulty.. thank goodness for the “little book” with all the verses in it.

  18. 68
    Dolly Mink says:

    I KNEW that was what you must have meant by your tweet- I’m just so thankful you clarified. It didn’t sound like the “Miss Beth” that I love and frankly I was worried about you! Now tell me you didn’t use the words “entrusted” and “audacious” to self-promote! JUST KIDDING! Thank you for your complete and total devotion to none other than Jesus.

  19. 69
    Sara R says:

    Oh, sweet Ms. Beth. Thank you for the way you share wisdom, straightforward and with such grace. Your voice is one I so appreciate in this murky water of our culture. I am amazed at your ability to remain relevant, yet never sway from the solid foundation of the Scriptures. You have given this twenty-something a hefty helping of hope today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  20. 70

    I was not familiar with the term “personal branding” when you first tweeted. You helped me understand, so thanks for that. I have been so hyper focused on the media/politics these days, that I must admit, I was trying to put what you said in a box or on one side of the political isle or the other. For that reason, I was reading between “my own lines” and not hearing your words. I seriously feel like I am “hovering” these days. I’ve gone from being totally involved (probably overly) in a church community to totally uninvolved. Unfortunately/or fortunately for me, I have an insatiable need for seeking the truth and it is no where to be found in this fallen world. I thank God for your Bible studies and for years of studying/hearing God’s truth through them. For someone who has serious trust issues, Twitter has become my obsession as we are being inundated with the media’s false narratives. Unfortunately, for a person like me, this has been my excuse for taking a stand for truth/justice on social media. However, after reading your words, it has become evident that my Twitter obsession has only lead me down more of an isolated, unfulfilling, and confused path. To quote Dana Carvey…”could it be satan?” Yes, it definately has become that for me. More prayers for our leaders/world/non-believers and more leaning into God’s promises…after all, He’s got this! Amen.

  21. 71
    Margaret Harris says:

    Beth, you bring these discussions right to the marrow! Keep it up Sister! You Rock!

  22. 72
    Sherry says:

    Ann Kiemel Anderson spoke of this exact issue in Seduced by success

  23. 73
    Brittany Cavaugh says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I have wrestled with this for a good year and wondered if I was alone in this. Thank you for clarifying my questions, and voicing Gods truth with strength and encouragement. He knew I needed this! Thank you for being obedient!

  24. 74
    Pam Patten says:

    Beth, thank you for expanding on that tweet! I started blogging just a little over a year ago and I am still finding my voice. Along with starting to get some opportunities to speak. I have a friend that is my accountability partner in writing and she is a dear Christian friend as well. We often talk about this very subject… how to find that line of getting the message out that you feel so strong God has placed on our heart and mind to share, but not becoming narcissistic! It has certainly kept me in God’s Word and praying desperately for God’s guidance. It’s made me have a whole new appreciation for ladies like you that have been doing this for years and in this world of imperfections you have done it amazingly well! Thankful God continues to use you in a mighty way! Love that you share from all parts of your life!

  25. 75
    Jean Cornwell says:

    Thank you Beth. You have reminded me that the messages is what is important not the speaker. Kudos to you fine lady of God.

  26. 76
    Amanda Jackson says:

    As someone who consumes a bit of what very public Christians have to offer (books, podcasts, a little of their social media) I find that I appreciate their work and want no part of it for myself. Beth, your ability to remain so grounded and humble and rooted is an absolute joy to behold. I think I would most certainly struggle with the fame. I don’t even have my own social media accounts because I don’t trust my flesh to do it well. Ha!
    I do worry that our culture is promoting this idea that to be effective in the kingdom we must have a big platform and write big books and stand on a stage.
    To be effective in the kingdom is to put your hand to the plow right where you are and however God has called you. For me, that’s three darling teens and my husband and the circles that go out from there. It feels small but I don’t believe for one minute that it is small work. The Lord has shown me that the work is mundane, and simple, and repetitive, and tiring, and joyful. We won’t all have a public legacy but we can all have a meaningful one.

    from the book Middlemarch:

    “Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs”

    Cheers to the ones doing the work of a hidden life. And praise God for those of you doing it for all to see. You are so dear, Beth Moore.

    • 76.1
      Kat Schmidt says:

      Beautiful comments, Amanda! I love that book quote!

      I’m living a small, hidden life too serving in my small, simple circle–praying that at the end of the day, He finds it enough.

      I’ll admit to being honestly perplexed by the avalanche of believing women seeking a public platform to the point of questioning if I am abnormal. Glad I am not alone!

      Kat

  27. 77
    Michelle says:

    Thank you, Beth!

  28. 78
    Pam Barrett says:

    As children of Christ we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. It is so hard when we are being bombarded by Satan. He uses the very tools that we use to reach others for Christ to turn the lost away from us. It is frightening in our world today that we are not always free to BOLDLY proclaim the Word of God as we are commanded to do. What you have done for Christian women through your blog, bible studies, books, conferences and simulcasts has truly been a blessing to me and many of my friends. I know you and others walk a tightrope struggling to not take glory from these. I have never felt that way after any of these that I have participated in. I am always refreshed and revived by them and feel as though God has spoken to me through each study or event. I will continue to pray for our teachers, preachers, ministers and lay people. Please continue in your ministry as it is much needed in our world today.

    Pam Barrett

  29. 79

    The “branding vs being” shift is culture-wide, not limited to publishing or any other particular industry. Everyone who hopes to maintain professional employment “curates” a personal brand across social media platforms and in all their social interactions. A decade ago, we saw young people being encouraged to make “authenticity” and “integrity” part of their “personal brands” — even while the culture redefined “authentic” as “slightly imperfect” and “integrity” as … well, in the wake of so many scandals, I guess “integrity” just means to “look trustworthy.”

    I like to read history and older literature, and I’m not sure we’ve had a time when facades were so important to our version of “identity.” We’ve had times when the “social self” was more clearly defined and more rigorously enforced. But I don’t think I’ve seen a time when the “social self” is so thoroughly confused with the self. I would hope the Body of Christ could be an antidote, but I’m not sure we’re thinking clearly enough.

  30. 80
    Angie Stumbo says:

    I think it comes down to – do I point to Jesus or do I point to myself. Am I stirring hunger for Jesus or stirring curiosity about myself? I have decided to do what I’m led to do and not do anything that sits wrong with me. But I also won’t vilify or call evil any means of spreading the good news of Jesus. How we promote, spread, expose the truth is a personal journey and conviction. Some of it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. But I think we need to take light to those dark places too.
    I will remain on social media with all of my 10’s of followers :). Some people shouldn’t. Some people should. For me, it is a tool, not a means of validation or acceptance.

  31. 81
    Maria Legra says:

    I saw the original message on Twitter and how many Godly women responded. I saw how it definitely is something that has been brewing for sometime now in society in general. Thank you and thank God that you address it in this article. To God be the glory!

  32. 82
    Karen A. says:

    I believe strongly that if my morning reading shows up later in the day I better pay attn. This morning I read 2 Cor 6. So – even though I’m just a small person with a few friends that talk Jesus I pray for help in being happier a person agrees with me than a person agreeing with me in Jesus’ Word. It’s not about me. I like to be complimented but it’s only a stumbling block. Its all about Jesus NOT us who call him Lord. Thanks 4 sharing your blog on this topic.

  33. 83

    Many Thanks Beth…As usual your honest heart poured out deep struggling feelings over your words. And Yes, they have Jesus infused in them…as always… as do your Books & Teachings. Will you continue to “make it”?? Of course, because you know that “making it” is about Jesus… HE is the finish line! The temptation of Fame from Social Media or Conferences, TV, etc., has become “making it” for far too many. It isn’t even about the money sometimes, it’s the deep need for recognition,validation and relevance… from people!! It’s so easy to get side tracked down that road. I am 70 years old now and can see the times when I took that fork in the road. I have learned that unless you feel PEACE from proposals/ideas and projects, it’s okay to say “NO” and rest in HIS peace. Enjoy life, family,prayers…Rest up…As you have taught us, Beth, Jesus will get you out of any Pit, even Social Media!!

  34. 84
    Melissa says:

    Amen!

  35. 85
    Sarah says:

    Beth,

    Thank you so much for this post. I have felt this ickiness about social media for a long time and as an aspiring author, I have felt so confused. Your post made me feel understood and like I’m not crazy for feeling icky about it. Thank you for speaking into this issue. – Sarah Beth (one of your Littles)

  36. 86
    Rhonda Prince says:

    Mrs. Moore, You have taught me, mentored me, faithfully encouraged me though the Word. You have sown into my life for many years. Most likely we will never meet this side of Heaven though we have worshipped together on more than one occasion. Your openness and frank gut wrenching love for our Savior bears witness with my spirit. I pray for your protection in the very area you are speaking of for a long time. To protect you and many others who are called to be out there on the front lines. There are those of us behind the scenes, girding you warriors up, praying diligently to keep you safe from this snare.
    You keep marching sister, we need you to do what you are called to do. We will do what we are called to do and gird you up.
    In love through Christ Jesus.
    ~~Til we meet in Glory.

  37. 87
    Mercedes says:

    Beth, I appreciate your post, and I appreciate you. I think your presence on social media is important, and I think it equally important to carefully consider the words one puts out there. Part of the deception is in the ease of commenting (i.e., on Twitter). But I am aware that once the words are out there, I cannot gather them up again, even by deleting.

    Your post put me in mind of your book, _When Godly People Do Ungodly Things_, which I am currently reading and meditating on. I pray to be aware of my weaknesses, and I have learned to be glad when blog page views of book sales are down because it conditions me to focus on Christ and not the fame or the sale. I don’t want to be a prisoner to publication.

    God bless. You make frequent appearances in my prayers.

    –Mercedes

  38. 88
    Karen says:

    All I can say through the tears and being on my knees, is Thank you Beth for this reminder. And Lord just give me Jesus, He is all i need!

  39. 89
    Sara says:

    Great topic.

  40. 90
    Dana Evans says:

    Oh, why do we want to do this ministry work as known rather than unknown? Great point in your last sentence. We live in an image world, and you are right the world says our brand is important. As we interact publicly on social media or on our own website or blog the world tells us our brand is important. But we are messengers of Jesus only. He is our brand. If He is first the Bible tells us everything else will take care of itself. I cannot be enticed by marketing myself and be a messenger of Jesus. Those two things cannot exist together. This has been a great topic to think about. I have to just trust Him!

  41. 91
    Donna Garvin says:

    I just read your post for the second time and still trying to wrap my head around all that you said and exactly where you are coming from. What I think you meant and what I understand it to say may be worlds apart. I am studying Children of the Day for the second time and it has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I did it almost three years ago. I may not be the sharpest 72 year old tool in the shed but just possibly could Paul be referring to this very thing in 1Thessalonians chapter 2? IF so, then this has been an on- going problem ever since Jesus entrusted His gospel to mortal man. When I began my walk with Jesus in 1974 I trusted and believed everyone that preached and taught the Word. But as my walk has matured I have learned that not everyone that is preaching or teaching is doing it with pure motives. As the technology has expanded to be able to reach the world with the Gospel I think there are more public figures “hawking” the Gospel for personal recognition and monetary gain than there are those who are doing it for God’s glory. I have learned in the last 43 years to be careful who I choose to listen to and study with and follow as spiritual leaders and they are few. I was introduced to your Bible studies in the late 90’s and continue to study also with you on each and every new study you write. You are one of the few that I can relate to and that God speaks to me through you. I am thankful God is using you and a few others in a mighty way to spread the love of Jesus, our One and Only to the world. I do believe that if you start trying to please man and not God He will test your heart,sweet one, and knowing you, you will repent. Thank you for your time and for keeping it real.

  42. 92
    Terri Latham says:

    This is an amazing piece with wisdom that is so appreciated!! Thank you for being vulnerable with those of us who can never know what you (and others in the ministry) have to go through if you’re not open and honest with those of us who read your posts. I find your posts – ALL of them – delightful. The part of your heart that I can see, is inspirational!

  43. 93
    Leah Bentley says:

    Thank you so much, Beth. As someone who has recently started a blog as a platform for launching a writing career, this is such an important subject. I desire to make glorifying God my focus rather than bringing any glory to myself. Yet, the lure of potential success is always there, telling me how great it might be: “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” I am making it my prayer that I will “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness” and not waste time thinking about the results of my earthly endeavors.

  44. 94
    Bobbi W says:

    There’s too much of many authors that promote books in the guise of Bible study. If we want to join in, then buy my book. I’m not saying that the books aren’t worth buying or the author doesn’t deserve to sell books, but why is it always selling something? I’ve seen countless people respond to studies, workshops, cruises, conferences, etc who would love to join in and really need that outlet but can’t afford to. There’s not enough offers of scholarships or donating to those who really can’t afford the newest book, etc. I do get irritated when the emails I get from a number of sources are always selling something. My husband and I serve at a mission church with people who have little income. Our church can’t afford much. We love to do studies. But by the time the DVD sessions and then student guides are all added in, $100 could be spent. It just gets frustrating when people are wanting to grow and change and there’s not a lot of opportunities for them to go to retreats or read more in depth about who God is.

  45. 95
    Caroline says:

    Thank you so much for this needed message, miss Beth. It has been such a battle for me to build my website without selling my soul. I want to build a readership because I believe I have a message to share, but I don’t want to sell out on my way there.

    I tried the way they teach you on the internet, but now, I’d rather just pour my heart in what I do and let our good good Father make sure it reaches the needing hearts. Otherwise it sucks the life out of me.

    Thank you for the confirmation and for your diligent teaching of God’s Word.
    Your passion for His Kingdom is inspiring!

    Caroline

  46. 96
    Mindi says:

    I hope people’s souls are awakening to the fact that simply because they have “followers” and “share” their lives in no way means they are “known.” I don’t think there is a more lonely place than to be “seen” by so many and truly known by so few. We were created for more.

  47. 97
    shannon conner says:

    Good word. 🙂

  48. 98
    Kathy Armstrong says:

    Not sure I totally understand this post but appreciate your passion. I can urusally “smell” a fake a mile away!!! I’ve been fooled a few times but not often. I simply know God has authentically spoken to me through your ministry for almost 20 personally challenging years. I am grateful & have never doubted your sincere love for Jesus & that he delivered you & you are representing him to demonstrate that deliverance is possible for each of us. Blessings to you & yours , you have been a honest & forthright voice of Christ in my life. Love you sister in Christ !

  49. 99
    Kim Mohsen says:

    When self-promotion becomes obsessive a shift happens and it become self-idolotry.

  50. 100
    Jennifer says:

    I love what the Bible says in John 3:30
    John who had the ministry of being the Baptizer says about Jesus…
    “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”

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