Fame, Fortune and the Way of Christ

12 Apr


Photo by jdurham on Morgue File.

Have you dreamt of becoming famous? What would your claim to fame be? Comedy? Acting? Writing? Race car driving? Go!

I have never really had a desire to be famous. I would not care for the attention. I enjoy being able to walk outside without it making the National Enquirer’s front page. I like being able to go to the market without a slew of Paparazzi jumping out from around the corner. I enjoy not seeing pictures of me plastered on TMZ or ET or the like.

I am sure some of the benefits of being famous are worthwhile. Of course, everyone would love the type money many of the famous make; which, is shamefully disproportionate to the common man/woman. But, I will try to stay off this soapbox this morning. The galas and dinners and such I am sure would be nice from time to time.

I am sure there are some people who would give their right eye to be famous. We see people doing strange and odd things frequently for the sake of attention and publicity. They try to shock and awe people for the chance of becoming famous; or, more truthfully, infamous. Youtube and the like have made this a world-wide epidemic. There are stories of legend of people selling their souls to the devil just to be famous.

In the end, it is a bad trade. There is certainly an allure, for many, with the entrapments of fame. The money, the prestige, the notoriety, the power and influence are all seductive allurements. Of course, this is not anything new to our culture. This lust for greed and power has been around since the inception of the human race. A man by the name of Tubal-Cain comes to mind.

If I were known for something, on the level of fame, I would have to choose writing. Like my fellow bloggers, I have a passion and love for writing. I enjoy sharing thoughts and ideas. I enjoy the process of the written word.

Yes, I could see myself as an actor. I could be the next Cary Grant or Clark Gable. I could star as C. K. Dexter Haven in a remake of the classic The Philadelphia Story. Trust me, I would be perfect for the role . . . if you do not believe me, just ask me!

But, perhaps, I should stick to writing. I think I would prefer to be behind the camera. A certain level of notoriety without all the fame and glam.

Here we are, one day from Holy Week. One day away from Palm Sunday. If anyone shunned the spotlight, if anyone gave a hand palm to the notions of fame and power, it was Christ. From his birth to a young virgin, into the home of a tradesman, to his growing up in the small village of Nazareth (has anything good ever come out of Nazareth?), to his living a humble life of simplicity and even shunning early attempts to proclaim him Messiah and king . . . Jesus did the exact opposite of what many expected the Messiah to do. I have often wondered why God did it the way he did it. Why would he do it in such a strange fashion? We did not even touch on the fact of his death: a condemned criminal of the state, crucified for his “crimes” is proclaimed as the King of Glory? At first glance, and several glances thereafter, it does not seem to make a lot of sense. It is a real head-scratcher.

But, all this pointed to the Man and not the means. It pointed to the mission and not the stuff. It shows in glaring perspective, it is the Man (the God-Man) who is the attention, not his possessions or means. He is great because of who he was and is, not because of his luxuries or money or clothes. In short, Christ did not have need of all those things that most men/women seem to need in order to achieve some level of notoriety or fame. He was not worried about fame, he was concerned only with bringing glory to the Father.

Christ has called his followers to be just that−those who follow him. Yes, there have been, and are, some famous and wealthy Christians. And I am sure they are faithful in their walk with Christ. I do not think being wealthy or famous is necessarily anti-gospel; but, I think there is a danger to it. There have been many good ethical people, who have become wealthy or famous and suddenly their ethics go out the window. Now, this may be more an indictment against the person than the stuff, but it is a cautionary tale nonetheless.

As a Christ-follower, I am called to put his fame and glory before my own. I am called to bring him attention, not myself. How many times have we seen or heard of Christians, of pastors, who have tasted fame and glory and lose themselves in the lusts thereof? Does it happen to all who find themselves in the limelight? No. But, again it is something of which we remain cautious and aware.

As we prepare ourselves to enter the most sacred of all weeks in the Christian calendar, let us remember to proclaim his greatness before our own. Let us be reminded to seek his glory and not our own fame. Let us be quick to follow his lead, to imitate our Lord and be faithful to God, in humility and gratefulness, no matter with how much he blesses us or how well-known our names become. If we have much or little, whether we are famous or not, let us be about our Father’s business. Let us be about kingdom work, proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


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5 responses to “Fame, Fortune and the Way of Christ

  1. Ted Luoma

    April 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Great perspective. I think you are right that fame, wealth, etc. can be the undoing for many.

    • Timothy Murray

      April 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you for the comment! I agree, those who are believers and keep the right perspective are examples to us all.

  2. Alistair

    April 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Great last paragraph to conclude on!


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