If You Want to Be Famous

One in four millennials think they will be famous by the time they're twenty-five.

Let's take it from the top. Read that sentence again. Let it sink in. Tumble it around in your own heart, and see what emerges.

Do you want to be famous? Do you assume at some point you will be? Does God want you to be famous? Does His Word speak to our craving to be celebrities?

Confessions of the Not So Rich and a Little Bit Famous

When I'm not writing blog posts or chasing chickens and children around my little farm, I spend my time writing books. A by-product of being a published author is that people often invite me to come and speak at their events. I love this part of my job, but sometimes it gets a little . . . weird.

People ask me to sign their books. They want their picture taken with me. They tell me they're a "huge fan."

I'm not saying I'm a Christian book rock star or that I have a huge following of fans. My celebrity status is pretty minimal, and I like it that way. But those tiny tastes of fame, the little nibbles of what it's really like when people outside your inner circle know you, or more accurately, know of you, have taught me a thing or two about fame.

In an era of YouTube stars and Instagram models, where people can become crazy famous just for being themselves, I am confident that there are some of you out there who crave celebrity status. Maybe you already have it. Is that okay? As God's girls, is fame a worthwhile pursuit? When I drag my heart's desire for fame under the microscope of God's Word, I see five truths clearly.

1. Fame is not a sin.

The word "fame" may conjure up images of TMZ and celebrities gone wild, but living and spending out of control is not the only way to capture the limelight.

The Bible describes some of the heroes of our faith as "famous."

More books have been written about these men than about the Beatles. More people know their names then will ever say the word "Kardashian." They were and remain mega celebrities, known and celebrated by millions. But pay attention to what they were famous for. They didn't grab the spotlight for themselves but in order to showcase the glory of God

Then there's Jesus, the most famous person to ever live. (More on God's fame in a minute.)

So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them (Matt. 4:24).

2. Fame is not fruit.

In a world of social media shares and Facebook likes, it's easy to get our wires crossed about how to measure the success of Christ's followers.

  • Does a blog post that gets shared more often necessarily impact more people?
  • Just because lots of people think an idea is great, does that mean God does?
  • Is other people's attention to our lives proof that we are walking like Christ?

It's easy to get fame and fruitfulness mixed up in our hearts, so let's listen carefully to how God calls us to live.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:1–5).

Anything we accomplish apart from Christ is ultimately just rotten fruit that cannot last.

Anything we accomplish apart from Christ is ultimately just rotten fruit that cannot last.

Will you join me in praying a bold prayer? Let's ask the Lord to make us fruitful instead of famous, okay?

3. Fame is not forever.

Name Miss America 2015. How about the winner of the Best Actress award from this year's Oscars? Can't think of it? Let's look to something more recent. Name five American gold medalists from this summer's Olympic games (no Googling allowed).

These people are famous. By our standards they are really, really famous. Their faces have been on magazine covers. Their records are in halls of fame, and yet we cannot remember their names.

Fame is fleeting. It's like the fireflies I'm already missing from summer. It's hard to catch and never lasts long. Do you want your star to rise quickly and then burn out, or do you want to shine like the stars in the heavens?

"And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever" (Dan. 12:3).

4. Fame is only ours to borrow.

God is the most well-known, often talked about, richest celebrity of them all. He is the biggest name there's ever been and ever will be. Every person throughout all of time will eventually acknowledge His greatness. There is none like Him in any magazine, hall of fame, or list of who's who.

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 (Phil. 2:10–11).

Ultimately, God is the only one worthy of fame.

Ultimately, God is the only one worthy of fame. Just look around at the lives of celebrities, and it's clear that we are not wired for it. It causes our hearts and minds to melt down. There's only one solution: We must insist that we worship God instead of ourselves and live so that others do the same.

According to God's Word, we are already famous, but only because of whose we are not who we are.

"And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised" (Deut. 26:18–19).

5. Legacy > Fame

Instead of striving to be known, live to make Christ known.

Fame is grabbing the spotlight for our own gain. Legacy is making a difference for the good of others. Instead of striving to be known, live to make Christ known. Ask Him to show you how to leave a legacy of faith. Instead of living to be famous, live to be faithful to the Famous One.

Trade in your hopes for celebrity status for a crown that lasts forever.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing (2 Tim. 4:6–8).

What do you want to be known for? Leave us a comment completing the following sentence below.

I want to be famous for . . .

PS: For more on this, check out tomorrow's post, "I Am a Kardashian."

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.