Take heed that you do not your give alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father in heaven.
Therefore, when you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when you give alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: That your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
When it come to bragging or boasting about our accomplishments or achievements, some people have a hard time reining it in. Because of that lack of self-control they come across as proud, boastful and obnoxious. I understand that there is usually tension, especially for professionals, between selling oneself and humility. To be frank, even people who find themselves on church staff or on staff at other christian organizations, struggle with the tension between humility and standing out.
But whatever situation you find yourself, the biblical principle of humility still stands. And I will argue, especially if you are a christian. unfortunately, I know a lot of christians who are egomaniacs. So, before I loose my cool and go off on them, let me share with you a few tips about how to stop tooting your own horn.
- Show don’t tell. Stop declaring and acting like you are the best. If you are, than you are smart enough to know that it is obvious to everyone. Plus, it doesn’t impress anyone to brag about yourself. It just makes you look annoying and unpleasant, and people like to avoid obnoxious folks.
- Avoid the front row seat mentality. “Do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.” Luke 14:8
- Don’t tell other they are dumb. That is insulting. And it implies that you are smarter that they are.
- Don’t be dismissive of others. If you do not agree with someone’s opinion, don’t just shut them down. That is a little rude and disrespectful.
- Avoid speaking to others with condescension. Avoid an attitude of superiority and looking down on others.
- Stop taking yourself too seriously. Seriously!
- Let others toot your horn for you. The way you do that is to let your work speak for itself. but also, genuinely and sincerely give praise to others, because with the measure you give, it will be given back to you.
- Avoid false humility. In everything you do, carry yourself with confidence. But, be careful and don’t let your confidence turn you into an egomaniac.
- Let God work behind the scenes for you. Never undermine others to promote yourself. Never lie about other to get a raise or promotion. Never stab others in the back to win favors. Stop playing politics to your advantage. Instead, let God promote you. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up in due time.
- Buy a “toot your own horn” mug and T-Shirt to remind yourself not to toot your own horn. Place the mug on your desk and wear the t-shirt often.