When You Want To be Famous. (Kind of)


Gideon walks around the house singing, well, yelling at the top of his lungs, “Everyone knows about ME!” I think he wants to be famous.

I shush him because his little brother is trying to sleep. And then I wonder how in the world a momma is supposed to teach her boy how to be humble. I even get confused myself sometimes, what humility really means.

Because there is this certain sort of longing inside all of us. An ache to be known, for our lives to count. For the things we work on to matter and to make a difference, a lasting impact in the world. And those longings do seem to be innate within us. But, how do we know when we’ve crossed the line, that thin small line between God given ambition and pride’s ugly practice?

Now, I can pretty easily detect it in others. That annoyance that comes over me when someone won’t quit tooting their own horn. Or when a leader gets a big head and starts caring less for the world and more about fabricating innumerable versions of their own self.

I see how easily it happens. I can detect it here and there in my own life, though I loathe the sight of it seeping into my heart and aim to kick it out before it settles in any place.


I’ve got all these questions, now, because there’s a book published recently, a compilation of words I’ve scribbled down and its begun making its rounds in the wide world. And when I turn on the computer machine, I see it here and there and on the cover is my name. And I do feel it–that internal tug of wanting to be known and for my life to count and yet not really wanting to be seen.

So, how do you hide, or do you even try, when your words go public and a crowd gathers and people come knocking because they’re hungry for some more hope or encouragement or whatever goodness they have found?

And what do you do when you’re excited, but you’re not, about the interviews on the radio and in guest posts and when you really do prefer your quiet life but now your name and your work will get splattered a bit more across screens?

How do you keep writing for the right reasons, to meet people where they are and speak into their hopes and fears when there’s this pressure out there somewhere to be noticed and to build a platform so that your name can be great?

And what do you do, when you want approval, yes, and to feel significant, but then for fear of your head swelling from your ego, you try to plug your ears from hearing the accolades and you’d rather hide somewhere away from the attention?

I mean, really, how do you keep caring about just living and helping and giving to others without wondering how many books have sold or how many followers you’ve got?

I don’t fully know these things.


Photo credit: Alicia Sauers. Click on photo to visit her Facebook page.

But, this I know. Deep down, I know it doesn’t matter how many followers I’ve got. It only matters Who I’m following.

And I’m following Jesus.

He who had a whole world in heaven full of accolades and admiration and respect  and yet left all of that, counted it as nothing, to come live here with us. So that we could live lives, not full of ourselves, but full of Him.

So, I resolve today and I suspect that I’ll have to do it again and again, not to write for fame. (Give grace, Lord.) I’ll write because, here in this heart of mine, Jesus is famous. And He deserves me to lift His Name up above my own because He really is the best.

He deserves this much.

So, help us, Lord. To be really clear windows in this world for as much of You to shine through as possible. And teach us how to live. All our lives before Your glory-shining face.

Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11)

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