“Am I not trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Apostle Paul, Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
I see it. So do you.
The famous. The celebrities. The popular. The trendy. The next big thing.
If you have a pulse, it’s extremely difficult to avoid the constant barrage of media coverage of those in the public spotlight. The entertainment networks and shows have wall-to-wall coverage of their every move: who is getting married, who is getting divorced, who is having a baby, who is starring in the next big film or ready to release new music. The celebrity industry has proven to be profitable simply by reporting on what well-known people are doing that don’t know you (i.e. TMZ anyone).
Our culture is fascinated by the spotlight of popularity and fame. The growth of social media has only exacerbated the growing trend through a plethora of shares, likes and reposts. Yet, this celebrity culture has swept through the Church as well. Stars are being born and groomed in the pulpits, on the stages of major conferences, and in the latest popular song of worship (and sometimes it makes you question — who are you worshipping?).
God is using this generation to proclaim and declare the Gospel to every corner of the earth and people of all walks of life. I applaud Christ-followers who use their gifts and anointing to reach the celebrity that everyone thinks they know. But, we must clearly differentiate between the lights of men and THE LIGHT of the world!
As I read the Scriptures, I see Jesus as a man and servant who did not coddle to the whims of men but the will of God. As a result, His popularity waned and even those that used to support Him turned their backs on Him. Jesus fully understands the blowing winds of being popular. But, He came to point people to His Father, not His fame. He came to show the world full of darkness that His Light could pierce through the abyss of sin. He came to set you free.
As tempting as it can be, watch out for the lights. The lights of men can shine on you but also shine on your pride. It can suck you into the never-ending cycle of appeasement and compromise. There’s nothing wrong with using your influence to share the Good News, but make it a priority that you are sharing His news, not yours. The comparison game must end. The subtle or direct competition amongst Christ-followers must cease. We have a world desperate for the Gospel message. This message is not relegated to a sermon or a song, but it’s a life message we can all live.
For it’s THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD that’s needed now more than ever. With the racial tensions in our cities, the catastrophic events around the world and the apathetic disposition binding our generation, we must ask ourselves the question: Are we caught up in the lights or THE LIGHT? When you are caught up in THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, you have identity, purpose, destiny and significance. Be encouraged to know that God will use you right where you are and He will raise you up at the proper time. But, when you are raised up for purpose, remain humble. Stay connected with Him. When His Light shines through you, you will never have the need for “the spotlight”. It’s already in you. – RF