VIP (Very Important Person) culture is practiced in several countries including India. A VIP assumes his/her self-importance and superiority over others that s/he demands special treatment and privileges. Roads may be closed for the VIP to pass through. Students missed their exams, youngsters missed job interviews and patients died in the ambulance. For VIPs, other people are nobodies and are treated with contempt.
Adonijah and Absalom: These two sons of King David thought they were VIPs. “Now, Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” (I Kings 1:5) Probably Adonijah copied his brother Absalom. (II Samuel 15:1) The runners were recruited as loyal soldiers, probably part of the bodyguard unit. However, both died miserably.
Marketing Strategy: Adonijah and Absalom wanted to present themselves as King or heir apparent. For that, they used the pretensions or imitations of a king to impress the people. By that, they laid claim to the throne. The soldiers who ran before them were their personal militia to fight the succession war.
Exalted himself: Adonijah exalted himself, which is futile. Physically, No person could self-lift himself. Exaltation or promotion does not come from East or West or South but from the Lord. (Psalms 75:6-7) Only God promotes a person or puts down another. Adonijah thought he could be promoted to king by his sincere efforts which were just gimmicks.
Vainglory: Vainglory is to display virtues of goodness or achievements with much fanfare. The Bible warns against vainglory, as it has disastrous consequences: breaking relationships. It provokes others to envy. (Galatians 5:26)
Vainglory and reputation: People’s reputation is built by the expectations and opinions of others. To match up to that expectation, people wear a mask. To create and maintain such a show or mask, the whole time is devoted. The core and content are not developed, only the outer package.
Exaggeration: When modest spiritual accomplishments or experiences are promoted as a higher achievement by believers, it is vainglory.
Do I exaggerate, wear a mask, and self-glorify myself?