I confess that I’ve had unhealthy ambitions to create a name for myself, and this temptation still plagues me at times.
Deep down, I want to build a big brand with my ventures so I can be recognized as a thought leader, innovative entrepreneur, and build wealth so I can be rich.
I’ve created out of a desire to make a name for myself, or, to put it in more worldly terms, to accumulate fame and fortune.
If I’m honest with myself, I’m essentially trying to save myself.
Let me explain.
When I came up with my companies, I wasn’t content simply putting my innovations to work to help others. I wanted to leverage my creations to make a name for myself.
Why? What is it about the human condition that causes me to use my work as a tool for proving something to the world? Deep down, I know there’s something wrong with me. I know I’m flawed. I know I’m not “right.” Deep down, we know that I “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Each entrepreneurial venture is me trying to cover up these flaws with my accomplishments. I think that if I write a bestselling book, or sell a business for millions of dollars, or have hundreds of employees, or get 100,000 Instagram followers, or build the world’s largest agency, then I’ll be able to mask my sinful human condition. Essentially, I use entrepreneurship as a means of saving myself.
I know better! And every day I’m choosing to transform and renew my mind. I know it’s not that I need a bigger company, it’s that I need Christ to be bigger in me.
The bible says
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
As a Christian, I know that the work of salvation is complete! Because Jesus said, “It is finished,” I no longer have to use my companies as a means of saving myself.
What incredible freedom I experience when I let that truth really sink into my heart! Because of the gospel, I am free to work and create not as a means of making a name for myself, but as an act of worship to the One who made me, saved me, and called me to Godpreneurship.
This truth replaces my improper ambition with proper ambition that flows out of a love for Christ and a desire to make His name famous throughout this earth and the next.
Father, help me to remember this every second of the day as I lead my businesses.
(PS – I write self-deprecating blog posts for 3 reasons. First, to confess to others. This helps call out the sin. Second, to process my own thoughts and declare new ones to myself. Third, that it might help you too.)