My dad (at least I think it was him) used to have a saying that I remember still. It was… “Don’t read your own press.”
In fact, it must have been my dad because just last week as we talked on Skype while he is overseas he gave me the same reminder in a different form, “Remember, in the end you only have to give account to one person and that’s God.”
What does it mean to not read your own press? Here’s how I take it. Some of us (and yes, I include myself in the “us”) are people pleasers. We take joy in knowing that someone thinks well of us. There’s nothing wrong with that on the surface I suppose. It becomes dangerous when it becomes my primary motivator for doing good. For example I do good because I want people to think well of me.
Back to the saying… don’t read your own press means not being primarily interested in what others think of me. This goes both ways. I don’t listen to the negative voices that always seem to see the dark side. Neither do I focus on those who seem to always tell me of my greatness. Instead I seek only to please Christ.
Paul got this. Read Philippians 3:3-14. My favorite part of the passage starts in verse 12…
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.