The Pull to Be Famous

Today I read Psalm 124, 2 Corinthians 11-13, and the start of chapter 4 in Integrity. One of the things that is bouncing around in my head this morning is the need to be trustworthy and connect with people. In Corinthians, Paul is defending his position as an apostle and chastising the Corinthians for believing those who came along wanting to be “famous” and trying to undercut Paul and his colleagues in an attempt to raise their own status and position. As a result, Paul has to go on and on about his own qualifications and remind them of all the ways he helped lead them to Christ and how he never tried to build a name for himself or make money off of them. He continually apologizes for what seems like boasting by saying he was acting like a fool because he didn’t want it to look like he was doing the same thing those other teachers were doing.

As I think about this I am wondering, at what point does our desire to serve God in ministry become something we use to become famous or well known or a “global ministry?” I can remember early in my 20’s wanting to be someone famous. I thought I could be like a Gary Smalley and do relationship seminars or be like other famous guys and make a mark in the world. But as time went by I began to realize that those kind of roles in the kingdom of God are God’s to assign or take away. If I pursued those things and all that came with it, recognition, money, books, etc. then I would be selling the kingdom for personal gain instead of doing the work to which God called me for his benefit alone. Rick is such a great example of that because he has made sure that he doesn’t let the fame and money change him too much which I am watching and greatly respect. It doesn’t mean he will be perfect at it, but just knowing his heart and desire makes me proud to be on his team. I know there are others in the church who struggle with this desire to make a name for themselves and want to get their hands in everything hoping at some point one of those things will stick and be a ticket to recognition and fame. I pray for those guys that God would keep their hearts close to himself and that they would not see the ministry and people as a means to their own end. No one ever starts out that way but if left to our own devices and the right opportunity, we could get to that point. I want to be a guy who others can trust because who I am is who you see so you will never have to wonder what I am really thinking or whether I am playing some kind of game behind the scenes. I want to have integrity and integration in every aspect of my life.

Lord, help me to be more enamored by you instead of the things that can be gained through ministry. I want to more concerned about your reputation and the ministry of the kingdom than building my own reputation or kingdom. Help me not be naïve but also not territorial. Help me to discern the higher things of the kingdom so I don’t get taken off course. Amen.
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