For the sake of one…
This phrase has come to be a sort of life motto for me. There was a time in my life (and it still pops up if I’m going to be honest) when I wanted to be a very well known pastor, author or social influencer. I’m sure many, if not all, have this goal and desire at least once in the span of their lifetime. Simply put, I wanted fame. For some, this desire is the driving force behind everything they do and it consumes their lives. For others, like me, it’s a vice that has to be constantly fought against and overcome. Whatever the case, the desire for fame and influence is one that needs to be seriously considered, especially for the Christian.
Here’s a thought for you. I don’t think we Christians are wired to handle fame. I don’t think we are created in such a way that makes us able to deal with attention or stardom in a beneficial way. Many Christians have lost their platform due to moral or ethical behavior and I believe the common denominator among most of these cases is that the individual is in a position of authority and influence without the barriers and accountability necessary for such a position. When the recognition flows in, the preaching is styling, the book deals are flowing and the Instagram life is on point, there is a great danger that must be understood and dealt with. If left unchecked, the fall will be great and the fame will lead to failure. In short, I simply don’t think we as Christians are created for fame. I think there is a very specific and Biblical reason for this.
We are put on this earth for one singular purpose. It’s not to amount a mass of followers on Instagram or Twitter. It’s not to impress people with our preaching or leadership ability. It’s not to be as relevant to the culture as possible. It’s not even to be as good of a person as we can be. Our purpose here on earth is to be the hands and feet of Christ as we do HIS work for HIS fame and not our own. We are called to bring our Father glory through our conduct and the proclamation of the Gospel. We are called to do the work of Christ even if our entire life is spent for the saving of one person. We are here for the sake of one.
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to preach at a church that many in the Christian realm might consider to be old fashion or “behind the times.” (Frankly, Christians that use this as a measure of worth for a church drive me crazy, but that’s another blog for another time.) I love this church with all my heart. We sang hymns, read scripture, worshiped God and I stumbled and bumbled through what could almost be called a sermon. Something that still amazes me about this wonderful congregation is the unity they possess. This church is united under Christ in their love of doctrine, each other and the Gospel. They cling to the hope that is only found in Christ. In short, they have their priorities straight and are not distracted by the lights, fog and flashy trends that are so prevalent in the Church today. Fame is far from their minds and Christ is what they want. We need more of this. I need more of this.
Why do I bring this up? Well, I think it describes the heart of what I’m trying to say. We Christians do not handle fame well because we are not here for our fame. We are wired to bring glory to our Creator, not to take the glory for ourselves. The trouble begins when we get this order confused and begin to see what we can do to bolster our own image and influence. There are many pastors and church leaders (whether they realize it or not) that are doing this today. They have forgotten why they are here and that their mission should be “for the sake of one.” We must remember, God does not share His glory and those that seek to steal it will find themselves matched with an opponent they cannot even step into the ring with. God gives us this warning in Isaiah 42:8,
“I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”
We should have a goal in our life to bring the lost to Christ and show them the wonderful mercy that we ourselves have been shown. Remember, we are beggars that have been given warm, delicious bread right out of Heaven’s oven. We should point others to where they also can get this bread and never be hungry again. John 15:8-9 says,
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
How do we abide in the love of Christ? How do we bear the fruit we were created to bear? We do this by seeking the fame of Christ through the sharing and telling of the Gospel and showing the love of Christ to everyone. Root out the deep places of pride and desire for fame and recognition. We are here to preach the Gospel, pass into glory and be forgotten. This life is not about us, it’s all about Jesus. Remember, we are here for one purpose and one purpose only. This purpose is to live for Christ…for the sake of one.