“Everybody wanna be heard. Everybody wanna be seen. Everybody wanna be known and everybody got some dreams. We wanna be understood, not overlooked” are Andy Mineo’s opening rap lines in “Formerly Known”. It’s a great song, and I’d want you to listen to it if you haven’t done so – but please, only do so after reading this post. But really, those lines ring with so much truth. Deep down in our hearts, there is a craving to be seen and heard and accepted. Every one of us is looking out to say and do something no one is saying or doing. When it comes down to it, we all would want to be in the spotlight… maybe a little more than we’d care to admit.
Fame. The desire to be famous. I personally don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to become famous in some way, as long as the means to achieving it are clean. But I’ve only lived on earth for some 20 years or more, and I know a lot of people who started out on the race of life so well, but because they couldn’t handle fame, fell out of step with the pace of the pack, and altogether out of the race. Just like anything else, fame has the dual possibility of being a blessing or a burden.
Jesus Christ, during his time on earth as a man, was one who was no stranger to fame. True, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied of him, “…he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men…” (Isaiah 53:2, 3) but then we read of this same Jesus having to work his way out of tricky situations because his fame had spread abroad in one way or another.
Before Jesus began his earthly ministry, the Bible recounts in Matthew chapter 3, how Jesus received God’s public vote of approval at his baptism:
“After his baptism, as Jesus came out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and setting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and nights he fasted and became hungry.” (Matthew 3:16 – 4:2)
With the waters of the Jordan River still dripping down his face and clothes, God declared how pleased he was with Jesus. Another book records God as saying “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” And hear him nature did! He spoke to bread and fish, and they multiplied. He spoke to wind and storm, and they calmed to a whisper. He spoke to demons, and they obeyed. He spoke to death, and it released its captives. What better time to have launched a public ministry than when God Himself publicly proclaimed His pleasure in him! But instead of capitalizing on his publicity, Jesus went into total isolation for 40 days, eating nothing and being tempted by the devil.
Jesus’ life is an example to us as Christians to beware of the dangers of fame. Jesus lived life to an audience of one – God – because he knew what was in man’s heart. He knew that if he lived for the approval of men, he would die from their rejection. Fame, like many things in life is legitimate in itself. But when not managed wisely, it could be one’s worst undoing. King Saul was a man who was obsessed with fame to the degree that he valued what people were to think over God’s opinion. This attitude followed him to his death.
Christians are people who are to live for the pleasure of our King. When we lose focus and begin to live for the praises of people and fame, the consequences could be dire. What is the driving factor in your life? Is it fame or faith?
@Eyram Nana Osei