“Not only do we worship the creation in place of the Uncreated One, we convince ourselves that we are like him in his ability to create something from nothing. We confuse stewardship with ownership, viewing ourselves as givers of life. We take the gifts that God has given us to steward–gifts like leadership, administration and mercy–and we use them to fuel our “creator complex”, employing them to build our own kingdoms instead of his. We look at the little kingdom we have and brought into being and assert ownership over it: “I made this from nothing! I gave this life ” We begin to believe ourselves to be its creator and rightful owner…
We do it with our families… We do it with our jobs… We do it with our ministries. We saw the need and rose to meet… We gave selflessly of our time and our gifts. No one else could have made the impact we have. All this would never have happened without our sacrifices and our vision. WE may not get the recognition we deserve now, but our heavenly mansion is going to be huge. So we take credit for lives that are changed, and we stop hearing the loving critique because, clearly, we have this…”
-None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
We are living in a crazy world; we have everything at the tips of our fingers and fame is only a click away!
So, we pose and sing and upload and try to click our way to fame and being known, because if our name was known we would know that we are great and might and that we “made it” in the world.
I know guys and gals who have auditioned for television singing contests, who are trying to make it as actors in Tinsel Town and even some who are trying to really break into the world of modeling and fashion… It seems like everyone has stars in their eyes.
We all want to be great… We want to be KNOWN.
But is this what Christians are called to?
“John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven… He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” ” -John 3:27, 30
How often do we do something with the expectation-or al least hope-that doing it will make us “great” and/or “well known”?
Yet, we are called to become less so that Christ can become more…
Making oneself known and making Christ known at the same time isn’t viable… You either worship self and leave God behind, or you worship God and leave self behind.
Greatness isn’t about how many people know your name, it’s about how much love and heart and purpose you put into what God has called you to–big or small.
We put so much time, effort and energy into “making it”; wanting people to see all that we achieved, yet, in reality, what we have achieved is so miniscule compared to all that God has done and will do.
We let selfishness take the place of selflessness.
We let greed over that which we have take the place of generosity because we forget that what we have, God could just as easily take away…
Look at the story of Job in the Bible…
He had it all; financial wealth, land, animals, servants, a loving family and was well known. Yet, in one fell swoop, God let it all be taken away from him and he was left with nothing. His children, servants and livestock all died in a single day, his land was ravaged, he became stricken with horrible skin sores and his wife told him to “curse God and die” (Job 1:8).
You see, you can have everything, your name might be known and you might have “made it” as earthly standards go. Yet, if you are doing everything in life for self-fulfillment and self-acknowledgement, you really have nothing.
“Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” -Matthew 6:20-21
As the old adage goes “you can’t take it with you when you go.”
Yeah, it might seem great having millions of people worship and adore you, but how many celebrities and movie stars are actually happy?
Look at the famous actor, Robin Williams. He looked like he had it all; fame, fortune, his name well known and, when it came down to the end, he committed suicide because he was so miserable in his daily, personal life.
True greatness isn’t measured by how many people know your name, it’s measured by how much love and heart and purpose you put into what God has called you to-big or small.
Let me end by asking you this question:
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind when you die?
Do you want a thousand people to know that you did everything in your life for the advancing of your self or maybe just a few hundred (or less) people who say that you were a soldier of the cross did everything for the advancing of God’s kingdom?
You are the only person who can decide what kind of legacy you leave behind…
So what’ll it be?