Speak Eagle

Don’t Feed Your Monster

An author friend of mine recently met with a potential publisher. Their first question wasn’t about the quality of her writing. It was, “How many Twitter followers do you have?” She only had 5,000, which just wasn’t enough to get her a book deal.

Photo credit: Flikr.com by Llima Oroso
Photo credit: Flikr.com by Llima Oroso

If you’re a business owner, you know the term “platform.” It’s what every marketing guru says is necessary to “get your name out there.” You can even get educated about how to promote yourself by taking classes with Michael Hyatt’s “Platform University.” And if you don’t have a platform, you can forget about getting published or securing a record deal or being offered a speaking engagement.

In this day and age, platforms are necessary. And if we’re making Jesus famous, promoting truth and justice and goodness and beauty, platforms are good. But at what point does our platform for offering a message of hope cross the line and become a stage to feed our monstrous pride?
In “Creating Monsters: Finding Fame in Jesus’ Name,” Keith Stancil delves into the dark recesses of our hearts where pride lurks. As the owner of Artist Garden Entertainment, Keith has worked with musicians for 25 years and has been blessed by theCreating-Monsters-cover humble and burned by the arrogant. He’s also painfully aware of his own pride monster that demands to be fed. He explains, “The monster seeks money, power and fame and is quite clever at making even Christians feel good about themselves as they feed it.” But Stancil warns, “Our human need to feel self-important and to be worshipped is definitely not of God.”
Pride isn’t just a challenge for musicians- it’s for all of us who communicate from a platform. It’s speakers and authors and painters and actors and dancers and teachers and coaches and bloggers. Especially bloggers. Like me.

A few years ago when I started blogging, it didn’t take me long to realize how much it fed my pride. One day, I became distinctly aware of how it excited me more to hear someone liked my writing than to hear they were praying for the person I was writing about. It was a bright red flag- a warning sign that if I didn’t stop feeding the monster, it would soon eat my very heart out.

So, I began to take a hard look at my motives. To ask myself why I was writing a particular post, what I hoped to benefit, and then to pray diligently and get involved personally with the people and situations I wrote about.

Stancil also offers advice on how to stop feeding the monster. We must first lightjpgremember that God gives us platforms not to make ourselves famous, but to make Him famous. And just as we turn on the lights in a bedroom and suddenly the monster under the bed is gone, so we “turn on the lights” in our soul by studying God’s Word, spending time in humble, dependent prayer, and surrounding ourselves with friends who will hold us accountable to not feed our little monster.

So, from one pride-prone communicator to another, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Creating Monsters. It’s an easy read, chock-full of biblical truth, engaging stories, and wise advice.

Then, just think- you can tweet quotes from “Creating Monsters,” posting Biblical content that makes Jesus famous and builds your Twitter following at the same time. What a deal.

(While you’re at it, follow @KeithStancil, and…me! @DrHeidiPetak.  Don’t worry, I promise not to use your follow to feed my monster.)


1 thought on “Don’t Feed Your Monster”

  1. Good afternoon, Dr. Petak:
    Thank you for your challenge regarding our “monsters” and their seemingly insatiable appetites. We all have them, as you know and so pointedly acknowledge in this message. As you also know, I love God’s Word and the instructions and challenges contained therein. The prophet Jeremiah relays a strong message — as relevant in Old Testament days as it is today, helping keep in check the “monsters” faced by the nation of Israel then and by us, His people today. 23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

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