As I confessed to my congregation in my sermon last Sunday, I have sought attention and popularity for much of my life. I lie to myself, thinking that if I were more popular, I could have a better impact on the world for Christ.
If I'm honest, though, that is a false virtue I try to wrap around my self-centered quest for personal glory.
Before most of my sermons I pray, "May Christ increase, so I may decrease." I must pray this. It is not a reality of my heart, it is a plea for God to change my heart.
God says: I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another (Isaiah 42:8a HCSB).
A few months ago, I read Michael York's odd, yet satisfying memoir of filming the movie Megiddo: The Omega Code 2. In it, he recounted a quote from John Updike: Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face.
I intended to post John Updike’s quote for a few weeks, and then I came to Luke 11:42-12:3 in my sermon series through the Gospel of Luke. In his famous woes, Jesus condemns the Pharisees' obsession with popularity and attention: Woe to you Pharisees! You love the front seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces (Luke 11:43).
I used Updike’s quote here.
So this post is a caution, but mostly for me: Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face.