About The Contemplative Activist

Hi. We're Marty & Sandy Boller. Now that we're sixty-something years old, we have way too much history to put in this little box. So let’s just say we are recovering 3-B pastors on our way to becoming a contemplative activists. Join us!

Chapter Twenty: The Temptation of Self-Promotion.

The Story of Good – Learning to Steward the Good Within.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18: 14 (ESV)


I bowed my head as Jesus was describing His temptation in the desert,

I could see how He was facing the same test,

That came my way on a daily basis.

A flood of thoughts filled my mind.

Questions began to form inside.

But how should I ask them?

Before I could say a word,

Jesus continued.

“Secondly, My child, you must face the Temptation of Self-Promotion.”

“With your Gift of Self-Existence, with the freedoms God gave you,

You will be invited to promote yourself

Outside the favor of your Father.”

“Life is full of self-promotion.

People pushing themselves into places of prominence,

All designed to elevate Self so that you might say to yourself,

‘I have won.’”

“God, your Loving Father, promises to give you favor and acceptance,

He tells you that He is enough.

But Satan comes and questions that truth.

You are invited to exercise your Gift of Self-Existence,

To promote yourself so others will see.”

“Self-Promotion raises its ugly head.

Satan says, ‘Go ahead,’

‘You have the right to promote yourself. I will help you.’”

“But God’s Word says,

‘Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God.

Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness.’”

I looked into Jesus’ eyes.

Thinking of the many times,

I had taken my life into my own hands.

“Make a way for yourself!”

My inner voice proclaims.

“Don’t be shy, take control.

If you don’t do it, no one will!”


Ponder on these things:

Reflect on a recent situation when you felt pressured to take the initiative to make a way for yourself.

What feelings are evoked as you reflect upon that time?

As you recall that time, where was God in that scenario?  Distant, close by, active, inactive, involved, uninvolved, etc.?


Over a period of about eight weeks (3 sessions per week), we will take you on a poetic journey (26-sessions) we call The Story of Good. We suggest you bookmark our blog series homepage to keep all the writings in one place for your future reference. Take note that each blog session begins with a short scripture reading. My suggestion is that you don’t hurry through, or skip the text, but treat it as a Lectio Divina reading where you slow down and sit a bit with God’s Word, allowing it to penetrate and influence you as you read. Each session also ends with a few thoughts to ponder on. I look forward to hearing some of your insight as we journey together!

Oh, and if you enjoy what you’re reading here, we encourage you to share this page and our website, The Contemplative Activist, with your friends! 

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