Monday, October 6, 2014

Creating Our Own Celebrity?

“In our world of social media, people create their own celebrity.” (Brandon Stanton, author of Humans of New York, in an interview on public radio).

“It’s not about you.” (the title of the sermon I heard on Sunday).

A lot has changed in two thousand years. We live in a world that people living in the first-century could not have imagined. But some things have not changed at all. The world’s wisdom, which you can boil down to “look out for yourself,” is still the world’s wisdom. God’s wisdom which is “deny yourself, love God and other people, and pray ‘your kingdom come, your will be done,’” is still God’s wisdom...and the way to true life.

In the middle of the first century a Christian leader wrote a letter to disciples of Jesus in the Greek city of Corinth. They had committed themselves to kingdom living but then were being sucked back into the wisdom of this world. They were somehow thinking you can mix the two.

That has been a problem and a temptation ever since. It just manifests itself in new ways in every era. In our day we must be aware of being drawn to “create our own celebrity” with the ubiquity of social media. Like so many things, this technology can be used for good, but the idea can insidiously creep into our consciousness that it is about me...and my family...and my kids...and my grand-kids...and my dog or my cat!

Let’s stay in touch, share news and use social media, but let’s do it with  a prayer: “Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your name. Let your kingdom come (to me and into me), let me do your will on earth as it is in heaven...because it is not about me.”  


  1. Thank you Tom. I will take this post to heart. Kingdom 1st in communication... In all things. Glen

  2. I just started Mind Change Moments recently and wouldn't you know, I am in the section about the Lord's Prayer! Thank you for helping me to overcome the world in my thoughts :) Jan

  3. I see how often people post online and I think, how sad it is that this is where people get their validation from. Thank you, Father, for so much more in your kingdom.

  4. I am 33 yrs old, born in 1980, and depending on the chart you look at, I am considered a "Millennial". This label has become synonymous with a generation of individuals that are more self-absorbed and narcissistic than has ever been seen in our time. Of course, it is not their fault entirely as these children were raised by the first generation of well-intended parents who coddled their children and gave them (and their whims) priority status in the world. Never before had the children's schedules, hobbies, self-esteem, etc. taken such a front seat in the family or in society. Never before have kids been so placated to and given so much so soon. As a result, many of these kids have grown up entitled and self-focused, now expecting that same treatment from the world at large. They are convinced that this world revolves around them, and their interests & goals are what is most important. Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. have become tools for self-promotion. Now everyone can be a little celebrity with fans & followers! And this all goes on without the realization that such behavior teeters on the brink of self-worship. What would a psychologist from 50 years ago think about the average kid today if brought back into that culture? And now these kids are having kids and the cycle continues. But here's the scary truth: this attitude is not limited just to the youth. The entire society, especially in America, has been affected. And so have I. Thank you, Tom, for your reminder to not perpetuate this in our own lives. We do have a choice to be different & that is the power of grace and truth. It's not about us.

  5. Thanks, Garrett for a great comment.