This may seem like a strange term, but I use it to make an illustration. So much of what we see on the internet, especially on social media, has to do with people building their brand. There is a lot of traffic on the internet. People can go there without leaving their seats. It’s where we can find a convergence of every conceivable demographic. The first thing that comes to a business savvy person’s mind is, how do I target these people and make them part from their money? And how can I get a little fame mixed in with the deal?
This is where branding comes in, and many people are highly successful at it. I am not here to come down on this. I am a businessman and I appreciate the great economic opportunities in our nation. However, I’ve had to pause occasionally and wonder whose brand I spend the most time promoting. Am I consumed with building my own brand only, or am I going above and beyond to build God’s brand first?
In reference to material items, Matthew 6:32-33 says: For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. –ESV
This verse is a great reminder for myself that God is the one who provides and sustains me faithfully if I will but seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first. In other words, putting His brand before my own. Putting our own brand foremost is the equivalent of seeking our own kingdom first. If we do that, we cannot claim the promise Jesus laid out in Matthew.
It doesn’t mean we will be unsuccessful financially, but it does mean things are being done out of order. Instead of being added to us, these material things are sought first, with a little godliness added to us—an exact reversal of Jesus’ command and promise. By this we can see that seeking God’s glory and our own can be a conflict. Seeking our own glory should not even be on our radar. If God chooses to increase our brand, or our kingdom, or our glory, or our material things, by adding them to us after we have done our diligence in seeking His Kingdom first, then great! This is the way things are meant to be ordered.
It all boils down to faith. Do we trust God’s Word enough that we are willing to focus on His Kingdom, trusting that He will provide for us in every way in return? This takes great faith. We are taught to raise ourselves up by our bootstraps in many cases. ‘If we don’t do it, it won’t get done,’ is a common attitude. ‘If we don’t promote ourselves no one will,’ is perhaps another.
In the end we simply need to remember that priority is key. Let’s seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness and His brand first. With the resources left over, we can sow seeds for our own gain and trust in God to prosper them.