Every writer writes about himself. Every preacher preaches about himself. It’s what makes communication personal and accessible. Without including ourselves in our work it would be cold and distant and maybe even dishonest. Like in so many other areas of life, though, the self threatens to play too much of a role. It seeks to take center stage and be the story instead of a means to the story. So the question is: when you write or speak, is it from you or about you?
What is your aim when you blog or tweet or write or preach? Are you seeking to elevate yourself (about you) or to offer something of value to others (from you)?
If you are seeking to elevate your self you will use yourself as the primary positive example. You might make a point to lay out “seven ways I . . .” or “three essential steps I take to. . .” on a regular basis as if your ways are the best ways and with assumption people really care how or why you do what you do. To top it off your work will be littered with needless details about yourself and your life. You will drag out otherwise helpful examples into soliloquies about, well, you.
On the other hand, if you are genuinely seeking to offer something helpful to others you will include both positive and negative examples about yourself. All the stories you share will be with a distinct purpose. They will connect ideas with people, take people to the right emotional place, unveil relational realities, or exemplify a point that needs a story to give it life. But none of the stories will make you the center.
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