Survival Principles #14

How to Get Demoted

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Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!


Dr. Larry Poland Twitter

How to Get Demoted

“Is this not the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
— Daniel 4:28-30 (NIV)

“In one sense,” said the earnest Christian TV director, “I have to promote myself every day. As a freelance professional, if I don’t promote myself, who will?” In so saying, he put the finger on one of the tough balancing acts Christians in media face on a daily basis . . . where does successful, professional salesmanship and promotion end and sinful, pride-driven self-exaltation begin?

One thing is sure. God doesn’t share His glory with anybody. He is a “jealous” God according the Scriptures. This means that—knowing He deserves all glory—He becomes the antagonist of anyone who seeks to steal some of it. Lucifer learned this the hard way when he was tired of being Number Two to God (Isaiah 14:12-15). He was cast out of heaven and doomed to perdition. The same hard lesson reduced King Nebuchadnezzar to animal behavior for the statement cited above. He ended up suffering seven years of debilitating, mental illness for his arrogant claim to credit that was rightfully his Maker’s.

Survival Principle: God doesn’t mind our displaying the talents, skills, and successes in our lives so long as we make it unmistakably clear that He is the source of them all. 

Nebuchadnezzar was the recipient of incredible, divine favor and blessing upon himself and his kingdom and claimed credit for it all personally. Daniel, on the other hand, was offered rich rewards for interpreting the handwriting on the wall in Daniel 5:17, but he asked that they be given to someone else. He knew his awesome ability to interpret dreams and visions was totally God’s work in and through him. Nebuchadnezzar was demoted and Daniel was promoted!

Survival Principle: There are few limits to how much success we can enjoy, if we don’t care who gets the credit for it. 

Daniel knew that his personal and professional destiny was not correlated directly with the extent of successful, self-promotion he could generate on his own behalf. He had no agent, no publicist, and no team of media spin-doctors. He wasted no time trying to convince others how terrific and competent he was. He had a deep and unshakable faith in the true and living God and knew that his promotion would be directly linked to his faithful service to and exaltation of his Master. Sure enough, that turned out to be the key to his success.

Survival Principle: Exalt yourself and God will demote you. Humble yourself before Him, and He will lift you up. 

Jesus himself proclaimed this principle!

Another freelance professional in Hollywood fired his agent as he began to trust more and more in his Savior. He wrote his own version of Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my agent. I shall not want.” He notes that he’s had much more steady work since he made that decision. It figures.


 

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