Autobiography · writing

Why Personal Branding is not very Christian of you

Cowboys, Branding, Heifer, Iron, Brand, Fire, Heat

I’ve had three cups of coffee and an overpriced latte from Starbucks. I spent the day taking care of my youngest who has hand, foot, mouth (no not mad cow disease). As the days wind down until I hand over my career to the creator of the universe, I am more at peace than I have ever been in my life, except of course when I’ve given up my soul to the vileness of the internet.

I know God wants me to write, and I know why I was derailed at 18. And I know why it’s taken this long to get here. But I am not exactly sure where “here” is, as the promised land is new and unfamiliar territory, requiring lots of discernment and a razor shop focus on to whom I belong.

Earlier in the day I had read Joshua 18. The children’s version is just exquisite. Just read these verses:

Joshua 18: 6, “But you should divide the land into seven parts. Describe the seven parts in writing. Then bring what you have written to me. We will let the Lord our God decide which tribe will get which land. “

Joshua 18: 8-9, “So the men who were chosen started into the land. Their plan was to describe it in writing and take it back to Joshua. Joshua told them, “Go and study the land. Describe it in writing. Then come back to me. Then I will ask the Lord to choose the land you should get. We will do this here in Shiloh.” So the men left and went into the land. They studied it and described it in writing for Joshua. They studied each town. They saw that the land had seven parts. They described it in writing and then came back to Joshua. He was still at the camp at Shiloh.”

And it glared at me. Bring what you have written to me. We will let the Lord God decide. Describe it in writing. The Lord will choose. These verses all speak of divine providence and our co-laboring with God. But for me as a writer, it was especially poignant.

Later in the day I felt moved, actually rocketed by the Spirit to pitch to two secular blogs. Surprisingly enough, I heard back from the Huffington Post right away. I was shocked and awed, but not really. Not hubris, but believing God for the promise He made me. I am eagerly awaiting my first opportunity to post there.

In the interim, I scoured the internet to learn just what some of these sites wanted. I haven’t felt very moved to write for many Christian blogs and spent the day trying to learn and figure out where I belong. The information overload was overwhelming and I noticed a pattern. Writers in the world seem to be focused on themselves, building a brand that focuses solely on them and what they have to say. I was rather appalled by it all really. Coming from such an amazing community of Christian writers who are focused on Jesus really placed things in perspective for me. The difference? Our brand always points away from us and to the Lord. It points outward. Our brand? It’s Jesus. All day, everyday.

I got lost and scared in the minutia of bloggers who made me endless promises about how to get my blogging career going, how I needed to define myself and get a logo. How I needed to learn photography, social media, seo and some other words I cannot pronounce nor do I know. I can tell you how to legally take a car from a drug dealer, but I cannot begin to tell you how to put a label on yourself and blast off into the internet abyss.

I realized after hours of research that life was sad out there. That people are trying to make a name for themselves because they don’t have any other purpose. And please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that non-believers are selfish. What I am saying is that we as Christians have a defined purpose that is higher than ourselves. We know who we are. We have divine guidance. And we are no longer slaves.

When I read the apostle Paul’s words in Galatians this morning, I was struck with my purpose. “For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ.” Galatians 2:19

I have chosen to cooperate with God’s plan of dying to the law, my career as a lawyer, so that I might live for God. I am moved in the Spirit to write for His glory. I don’t need a tagline, a fancy head shot or endorsements for that. I already have God’s approval.

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Why Personal Branding is not very Christian of you

  1. So amazingly true. You never have to make a name for yourself as God is doing that for you like St Paul. Your writing, story and messages draw me to God. I look forward to see where He takes you! God bless you Melissa!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So so true Melissa—and as for the foot and mouth disease—my son had everything a kid could get—he had that, he had 5th disease and every other sort of parasite, bacteria, virus etc known to man—this from blasted daycare—I can remember using up all my sick leave the first year I had to go back to work… because he was always sick—the pediatrician kept reassuring me that once he got to school he’d have had everything and would finally be immune–
    And as far as our purpose—you are spot on.
    The internet is more often then not a sad place I believe.
    So many lost souls and those who seek affirmation, hope, friends etc—
    it’s really an odd phenomenon really—but given the growing human detachment found within our youth–it is no wonder they live in the virtual rather than the real..
    I’ve told you that I always wanted to write—the blog has provided that.
    People has said what I must do to be “published” and one of those things is I need Facebook, painters, instagram—all of which I do not have, nor want…I’ve always figured that if He wanted me published, He’d bring that about—for now I am content…
    Thank you for the wonderful reminder and here is to the illnesses of childhood as to the illnesses found in today’s society—May God bring healing to all…

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    1. Your words as always so beautiful. It is comforting to be in community with other believers who are true followers of Christ! I like you believe that whatever is His will, will be. I don’t need a brand for that!!!

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  3. Oh Melissa – you took me back to a couple of years ago when I did the exact same research. When my notebook and brain were finally filled to the brim with confusing notes, acronyms and numbers, I finally sat and simply had a conversation with God. I surrendered. His heart became my heart. I tossed the notes, cleared my mind and wrote what His Spirit placed before me.

    I have never been happier, nor closer to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so stressful! Logos and branding and numbers and social media, when God is telling me exactly the opposite, simply to trust Him!

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      1. Absolutely! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
        It was like seeing the real “wizard” behind the curtain – no comparison to our powerful God!
        I have no interest in growing my blog by thousands per day. For me, one seed planted, one heart at a time is plenty. ❤

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  4. I started blogging about 4 months ago in earnest. I do my best work when I don’t worry about what others think (not that I want to offend of course — but “pleasing” doesn’t seem to pan out for anyone!)

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    1. Yes I totally hear you on that. This is my fourth blog. I had a large following two blogs ago when God told me delete it. It took many transitions for me to be authentically myself, who God made me to be.

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