“Second to a person's relationship with God is the person's
relationship with himself. Everyone should respect, love, admire, and celebrate
himself or herself. That's not selfishness, that's self-interest. Self-interest
is spiritual—you love others out of the overflow of your own love. Selfishness
is when we want everything for ourselves and nothing for everyone else.”
—Mack R. Douglas
The topics of loving yourself and maintaining a loving relationship with God
are central themes in the books of celebrated motivational author Mack R.
Douglas. A minister for three decades, Douglas, who held a master's degree from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, first
realized this message had not only a voice, but an audience on a mission trip to
The year was 1958 and Douglas was behind the Iron Curtain in what was then
Yugoslavia, a country notoriously suspicious of Christian ministers at the time.
Referring to himself on his passport as an “educator” rather than minister or
pastor, he entered the country safely. Earlier in the week, another pastor had
been arrested just down the street from where he was speaking. As a result, he
hid during the day, leaving his guestroom only for his appearances. This
inspired him to bring his messages to print and continue speaking as frequently
as possible so that people under these conditions would have the opportunity to
live and grow through their own educational means.
Now, more than thirty years later, he has been the author of more than a
dozen books, from his initial bestseller How to Make a Habit of Succeeding
to his later release How to Win with High Self-Esteem.
And during that time, he spoke, conducted seminars, and trained more than two
million people around the world. He also worked as a consultant to groups in the
U.S., Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, and Thailand. Among his corporate
clientele were a variety of organizations, from General Motors to Prudential
Insurance to the New York Yankees. Before passing away, he served as president
of Discovery Seminars International