Our favorite doctor comments on the obnoxious tendency of politicians to constantly boast, as well as the unfortunate growing trend of embellishment to secure work by the ambitious job applicant competing against a rising tide of self-promotion.
The applicant is required to enumerate their acquirements and achievements, and since they know everyone else is required to do the same, there is a tendency to magnification; that is to say, to boastfulness. The fact you once helped an old lady across the road becomes — in an application — a burning concern for the welfare of the elderly in our society.
TD reminds me of the piercing and humbling words of our Lord from his Sermon on the Mount:
“Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 NIV
Secrecy is a spiritual discipline that is incredibly challenging to practice in our ‘platform building’ culture. The pressure and expectation to build one’s own platform is everywhere – even in the realms of Christian ministry and publishing.
“Secrecy rightly practiced enables us to place our public relations department entirely in the hands of God, who lit our candles so we could be the light of the world….” ~Dallas Willard, “The Spirit of the Disciplines”