There is something beautiful that happens when I walk away from social media for a weekend. This idea of chasing Sabbath, finding moments throughout our weekend to settle our hearts and do things that bring us joy, brings with with it clarity and peace. When the majority of my time is spent surrounded by the cacophony of all caps excitement and hashtags about ALL THE THINGS, my heart becomes easily absorbed in making sure what I’m doing/saying/writing looks good – in case someone reads or sees it who might want to help me build a platform.
Because I’ve been pretty awful at building one for myself. But it’s that thing you’re supposed to do if you want to turn blogging into speaking and speaking into books and books into humble online celebrity. The part of my personality that loves to set a vision for the next three to five years enjoys a clear path to a clear result, and platform building seems like the logical first step.
Step 1: get noticed
Step 2: instant awesomeness
But when I walk away from it all for a few days to enjoy real life community, the hustle fades and hope remains. Might God want me to do all those things? He might. But none of the references I found in Scripture described “platforms” the way we talk about them.
In 2nd Chronicles, Solomon stands on a platform – to kneel before God and invite Him into the temple they build for Him. It wasn’t about the brilliant prayer Solomon prayed. No one in attendance took notes about what he said, tweeted it, or had a FOMO moment. Because they witnessed “the glory of the Eternal fill the house.” It was the Holy Spirit that was elevated.
In Nehemiah, Ezra stands on a platform – to read the Word of God to a crowd hungry to understand Scripture. And he didn’t stand alone. It wasn’t about what Ezra was doing, what he was wearing, or what kind of popularity contest he won to earn the opportunity. He read, and the people stood to honor God. It was the Word of God that was elevated.
Do you want to know when platform was used in a way that most resembles the way we think of it? In Acts 12, Herod stands on a platform and makes a speech. And the crowd goes wild over his words and he fails to give God glory. The result? He’s struck down with a flesh eating disease and dies.
Listen. I don’t know about you. But if the result of self-glorification on a platform built on my own achievements leads to that kind of end? I’m out. No thank you. You can keep your speaking, your books, your conferences and anything else I’m “supposed” to do with a platform.
Bottom line? There’s no “I” in platform. It’s never meant to be about us. What if we used the places and platforms God gifts us as places to elevate Him, His Word, and His good news? What if we wrote and spoke only after asking God to hide us completely, inviting Him to take center stage? What if we used social media as a place to invite the glory of the Eternal to fill the house?
What if we took the “I” out of platform?
I’d love for you to watch or listen to this amazing series called Rebuild that my church is doing – I think you’ll love it!
Your post is so very refreshing, brimming with authentic Truth. Last night I had to turn off a webinar about selling on FB. The chatter about money, manipulation, and marketing did not fit with the purpose of my platform. “It’s never meant to be about us.” Yes! When I am tempted to ride the ups and downs of analytic and I am driven by editorial calendars, I will revisit this post to remember what platform is truly about. Thank you!
Joy Lenton says
Crystal, I love the way you describe how biblical characters ascended platforms for good godly reasons alone and not for elevation of self. We all need this reminder because the world shouts for our constant attention and we feel ‘less than’ if we’re not gaining attention likewise. As you so rightly say, it’s not about us but about bringing glory to God with our life, our voice and our words. Thank you! 🙂 x
Valerie Sisco says
These words are a breath of fresh air in a world of “I’m loving . .. ” or “This is the best ever … ” on Instagram, FB and other social media channels. I enjoy reading the updates but I’m looking most for an encouraging word from God. Thanks for always pointing us back to him with your words. (And I loved your post on Nehemiah on incourage last week and linked it on my blog this week — it made me think deeply!) xo
Your words mean so much to me, Valerie – I’m so grateful! And thank you for linking my (in)courage post 🙂 xoxo